EXCLUSIVE By Wayne Veysey
Celtic failed to hold on to Liam Morrison despite offering him a series of increasingly lucrative offers in a bid to keep him and snub widespread interest from leading European clubs, Football Insider can reveal.
Bayern Munich announced at the weekend that the centre-back, 16, had joined their youth academy from the Scottish giants in what is a sensational move.
A Celtic source has told Football Insider that Hoops chiefs did all they could to persuade Morrison to stay, including offering him a series of contracts that would have included pay hike triggers when he turned 17 and 18.
But the teenage defender had his heart set on joining Bayern after the Bundesliga giants made a concerted sales pitch early in the summer that convinced him his career would best be served by joining them.
Football Insider revealed in early July that Morrison had agreed to join the German champions after they won a legal battle for his signature.
That it took more than a month for the transfer to be announced was due to Celtic’s reluctance to transfer the paperwork and complete a deal that has led to huge frustration behind the scenes at Parkhead.
The source explained that the club’s coaching staff, from the academy through to head coach Neil Lennon, are “shattered” to lose a player in whom they have invested so much time and hope.
Morrison had a year remaining on his youth registration, but Bayern and the player’s representatives legally challenged it and Celtic have been forced to let him head to Germany.
The Scottish champions are in line for only a minimal compensation fee as the Bundesliga champions have taken advantage of cross-border regulations to secure Morrison to a three-year contract.