Sources: Celtic in pole position to sign rising-star striker after big development
Celtic are well placed to sign striker Veron Parkes when he quits West Ham at the end of this month.
Football Insider exclusively revealed last month that the 18-year-old had decided to leave the London club after rejecting their offer of a professional contract.
West Ham have been unable to persuade the highly rated teenager to change his mind and he is now set to join a new club, most likely in Scotland or overseas this summer.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Celtic are in the driving seat to land Parkes as they can offer a realistic pathway to senior football.
Parkes and his camp have noted the huge impact made by Jeremie Frimpong since he quit Man City last summer to move to Parkhead.
The right-back was in the starting XI only weeks after joining aged 18 and he ended the campaign as Celtic’s young player of the year and ended the campaign with 12 league starts among 22 appearances in all competitions.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Like Frimpong was, Parkes is eager to kick on and develop at a senior level rather than just play Under-23s football.
Celtic face competition for his signature from clubs in England as well as those abroad like Ligue 1 outfit Monaco, MLS side New York Red Bulls and Dutch duo Fortuna Sittard and Heerenveen.
Significantly, they Parkes is available for just a minimal compensation payment.
His scholarship contract at West Ham ends on 30 June, three years since he was lured from Premier League rivals Crystal Palace.
Parkes has excelled for West Ham’s youth sides this season, scoring 13 goals and providing six assists in just 19 games for their Under-18s and Under-23s.
Capable of operating anywhere across the forward line, the teenager has also trained with the Hammers’ first team at times.
In other Celtic, it can be revealed that Rangers have leapfrogged the Hoops in the pursuit of a centre-forward available for big money this summer.