EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey and Pete O’Rourke
Celtic have agreed terms with striker Jonathan Afolabi after he rejected offers from Southampton and two other Premier League clubs, Football Insider can reveal.
The Hoops announced today they have signed the forward, 19, after he put pen to paper on a three-year contract.
A source with knowledge of Alofabi’s situation has told Football Insider that the player made up his mind to move to Parkhead despite receiving contract offers from ex-club Southampton as well as two others in the English top flight.
Welcome to #CelticFC, Jonathan Afolabi! 🍀⚪️
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) August 21, 2019
Celtic won the race for the teenager after a convincing sales pitch in which they made clear their faith in the player’s potential to develop into a first-team star.
Southampton had tried to keep Afolabi both before and after his contract expired n June but he wanted to move on from the south coast.
Football Insider first revealed last December that Celtic were keeping close tabs on Afolabi as his contract at Southampton entered the final six months.
Afolabi spent three years at St Mary’s Stadium after joining from Irish side St. Josephs Boys in 2016, and made a big impression for the Premier League’s club’s Under-18s and Under-23s sides.
The Republic of Ireland Under-19 international failed to break into the first team at Southampton and is hopeful of more senior opportunities north of the border.