Neil Lennon gave the green light for Connor McBride to join Blackburn Rovers as he did not see him as a Celtic first-teamer of the future.

Rovers announced on Wednesday night that the striker, 19, has joined on a free transfer from the Scottish champions after signing an initial two-year contract.

A Celtic source has told Football Insider the club let McBride go because they did not want to stand in the way of his chances of cracking it at senior level.

Significantly, Lennon and his Hoops coaching staff did not regard the teenager as a first-team player either this season or in the coming years.

The northern Irishman can count on four senior strikers following the summer signing of Albian Ajeti, who has joined from West Ham for £4.5million rising to a potential £6m.

Odsonne Edouard is the first choice, backed up by struggling Leigh Griffiths and January signing Patryk Klimala.

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McBride has moved to Ewood Park on a two-year deal, with the option of an extra 12 months, and is initially expected to link up with Rovers Under-23s.

He did not play a senior game for Celtic after signing from Falkirk in January 2018 following his progress form the youth system at Stenhousemuir.

He returned to former club Stenhousemuir on loan last season, where he had his first taste of senior football.

 

McBride made 17 appearances in all competitions for the Scottish League Two club, starting six games in the league, and scored his first senior goal away to Cowdenbeath in December 2019.

The talented teenager, who is capped by Scotland at youth level, becomes the third new Rovers signing this summer.

In other news, Celtic chiefs convinced first-team star engineering big-money exit during international break.