Exclusive: Celtic powerless to keep attacker after exit deal all but done - Bruce

Celtic are powerless to stop their young stars quitting to join big-hitting clubs like Bayern Munich.

That is the verdict of ex-Premier League and Kilmarnock defender Alex Bruce, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the deal agreed for 16-year-old Barry Hepburn to move from the Hoops to the German giants this summer.

This site reported earlier this week that the teenager attacker has agreed in principle to swap Parkhead for the Bundesliga giants.

It is an imminent move that has left Celtic chiefs fuming, especially as his agent David Moss also brokered the transfer of 17-year-old defender Liam Morrison last summer.

Hepburn is set to make the same journey as his fellow Hoops academy product after rejecting a professional contract from the Scottish champions.

“It all depends on the lad, his family and what kind of opportunity that they want to take,” Bruce told Football Insider. “If Celtic keep losing players to foreign clubs, it will be a worry but ultimately it’s the players who have the power.

“It’s a difficult one for Celtic and any club really. You don’t want to lose your young stars, especially when you get to a certain age, when they’ve come through your academy.

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“When a club like Bayern Munich come knocking, it’s a hell of a thing to fight them off.”

Due to Fifa cross-border rules, the Hoops are only in line to receive minimal compensation from Bayern for Hepburn’s training and development costs.

He is highly rated by club and country and has already been capped multiple times by Scotland at Under-17 level.

In other Celtic news, an England-based striker is willing to take a mammoth pay cut to seal a “really lucky” move to Parkhead.