I'm joining Celtic next season - Midfield goal machine jokes after talks with Rodgers

By Richard Parks

Morton midfielder Gary Harkins has joked that he is joining Celtic next season after his impressive display in the Scottish Cup at Parkhead on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers made clear his approval for Harkins’ performance as he walked off the pitch in the immediate wake of Morton’s 3-0 defeat, a scoreline that flattered the hosts.

Morton kept Celtic at bay for more than an hour before Moussa Dembele scored twice and substitute Odsonne Edouard hit a late third.

Well-travelled Harkins, who has scored seven times from 32 matches this season for the Scottish Championship side, admitted he is dreaming of playing at Celtic Park next season for promotion play-off chasers Morton in the Scottish Premiership.

Asked what he had discussed with Rodgers, Harkins told the Scottish Sun: “I spoke to Brendan, aye. I’m here next season, I think! I’ll be cleaning his boots for him.

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“No, seriously, he was lovely. You can see with the way he speaks to the press and everything that he carries himself really well and it’s a good pat on the back for me, so I’m happy.

“But this game was a bonus for us, the league is where we have to earn our money.”

Football Insider verdict:

Aged 33, Harkins’ chances of joining Celtic have probably passed him by, but he is a top-notch Championship operator with a track record that demands respect. In 191 matches in the division he has netted an eyeopening 41 goals and has also showed in the Premiership that he can deliver the goods. A key man for Morton this season, his top-flight days are certainly not over and he is likely to be a key man again next season if the promotion chasers achieve their ambition of a return to the Premiership.

In other Celtic transfer news, it has been confirmed that the Hoops have just been handed a jaw-dropping £28million windfall.

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