New deals in the offing for Daniel Kelly, Rocco Vata and Liam Scales

Celtic have offered a new long term contract to breakthrough midfielder Daniel Kelly.  The 18 year-old has made quite an impact in recent weeks, including of course scoring that magnificent goal against Dundee at Celtic Park. And there’s also new deals in the offing for Rocco Vata and Liam Scales as Brendan Rodgers begins planning for next season.

28th February 2024 Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland Scottish Premiership Football, Celtic versus Dundee Daniel Kelly of Celtic shoots and scores for 7-0 in the 63rd minute. Photo David Young

Bundesliga Interest

There has been significant interest in Daniel Kelly from Bundesliga sides Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig.  However Celtic are confident that a deal will be agreed, especially as the player sees his future at Celtic Park. Should Celtic lose out on Kelly, whose current deal expires at the end of this season, then there would be a small development fee due. This would be a meagre return for the developing the player through the Celtic Academy and Celtic B Team.

Rocco Vata scored his first senior goal for Celtic against Buckie Thistle

Credit to Rodgers

And credit to Brendan Rodgers in playing Kelly and also Rocco Vata in recent weeks.  That sends a message right through the academy that this is a club with a pathway to the first team. That was something that, for all his attributes as the Celtic manager, wasn’t always clear enough under Ange Postecoglou.

Vata’s contract discussions seem to be taking forever to sort out.  Although both parties may have agreed to wait until the season is over, given the importance of the remaining fixtures in both the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish Cup. And the same could also be the case for the Liam Scales contract extension.

 Lawrence Shankland of Hearts vies with Liam Scales of Celtic during the Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Heart of Midlothian at Celtic Park on December 16, 2023. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Barring unforeseen developments

With all three players anxious to remain at Celtic Park all three deals should be tied up in due course, barring some unforeseen development, which you can never entirely rule out when Celtic transfer dealings are involved!

James French, writing on our sister site, The Celtic Star, had this to say about Daniel Kelly yesterday…

Could Daniel Kelly break into the Celtic midfield?

Daniel Kelly of Celtic speaks with Brendan Rodgers, manager of Celtic Celtic v Dundee, Cinch Scottish Premiership, Football, Celtic Park, Glasgow, UK – 28 Feb 2024. Photo Mark Runnacles/Shutterstock

Six is the number of academy graduates currently involved in the Celtic first team, James Forrest (32 years of age), captain Callum McGregor (30 years of age), Anthony Ralston (25 years of age), Stephen Welsh (24 years of age), Rocco Vata (18 years and 330 days old) and finally Daniel Kelly (18 years and 162 days old).

The new academy hope

The final name on that list, Daniel Kelly, looks to be the new academy hope with a serious chance of breaking into the Celtic starting eleven.

Kelly made his debut off the bench in the 7-1 thrashing of Dundee last month after replacing captain Callum McGregor at half time, and the 18-year-old impressed throughout his 45-minute cameo as he managed to score on his Celtic debut.

Kyosuke Tagawa of Hearts left, Japanese player in action against Daniel Kelly of Celtic during the cinch Scottish Premiership match between Heart of Midlothian and Celtic at Tynecastle Park, Edinburgh, Scotland on 3 March 2024. Noxthirdxpartyxsales PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxJPN 246167412

Kelly has made an impression on Brendan Rodgers

The teenager has clearly made an impression on Brendan Rodgers, featuring in the last two matchday squads in a row whilst also being trusted off the bench over £2.5 million summer signing Odin Thiago Holm on both occasions.

Kelly has been long talked about as one of the club’s most exciting academy prospects, even being linked to clubs such as Arsenal, Liverpool and Benfica prior to signing a three-year professional contract in 2022.

The Scottish u19 international has featured in all twelve UEFA Youth League games for the club over the past two seasons, even scoring twice in this year’s competition.

Kelly’s technical ability is unquestionable

Kelly’s technical ability is unquestionable, and he is very much an attack-minded midfielder, often arriving late into the box and finishing well, with his goal against Dundee a clear example of this.

The club have neglected many talented academy prospects over the past number of years, not helped by the development structures in Scotland nor the growing trend of bigger clubs poaching the best talent at the club but nonetheless, Celtic should be doing more to provide a pathway for its best academy talent.

Celtic’s midfield has been stuttering recently

Celtic’s midfield has been stuttering recently, with Matt O’Riley unable to reproduce his excellent form of the first half of the season and Paulo Bernardo failing to kick on after his Glasgow derby goal before the new year.

And now with news of the absence of Callum McGregor until at least after the international break, Rodgers could hand Kelly an opportunity from the start in the coming games.

With misfortune comes opportunity, and Daniel Kelly has the talent and potential to be deserving of such an opportunity.

Tags Celtic news Celtic Shorts Daniel Kelly Liam Scales Rocco Vata
Celtic Shorts Social Channels
Celtic Star Bookstore
Celtic Pools