Celtic close to sealing six-figure deal for Sligo Rovers youngster Johnny Kenny as Irish striker set to snub Hibs interest

The 18-year-old netted 11 times in the Irish Premier Division last season and is viewed as a long-term prospect

Celtic are close to sealing a £125,000 deal for Sligo Rovers striker Johnny Kenny - and could immediately send him out on loan to another Scottish club.

The 18-year-old is poised to sign a long-term contract in the next 24 hours after catching the eye of Parkhead scouts last year.

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Kenny scored 11 goals in the League of Ireland last season, which earned the Republic of Ireland youth international a new three-year deal in November.

The Hoops will activate a six-figure release clause in his contract, with the teenager viewed as an exciting long-term prospect after only making his senior debut at the beginning of the season.

Kenny was also attracting interest from Premiership rivals Hibernian after he was invited to attend their match against Dundee as a VIP guest last month.

However, Ange Postecoglou’s side are now in pole position to secure his signature and the Irish Independent report that Kenny could head out straight out to gain more first-team exposure in Scotland’s top-flight after finalising his contract.

Celtic sent a scout to watch the youngster in action against Drogheda United last September and have been keeping tabs on his progress ever since.

The club have already dipped dip into the Irish market this season after the €600,000 capture of Liam Scales from Shamrock Rovers in the summer.

Fringe players Liam Shaw and Osaze Urhoghide are also edging closer to sealing loan moves, with both players struggling for game time since their arrivals from Sheffield Wednesday in the summer.

Midfielder Shaw is attracting interest from Motherwell and St Johnstone, while Dutch defender Urhoghide is being monitored by various clubs.

Meanwhile, Ewan Henderson has completed a move to Hibernian after the midfielder was told he was free to leave Parkhead with his Celtic deal set to expire in the summer.

Ewan Henderson has left Celtic to join Hibs.

The 21-year-old has penned an initial six-month loan deal but will make the transfer permanent in the summer on a three-year-deal.

Henderson will follow in the footsteps of his older brother Liam, who starred for the Easter Road outfit during a season-long loan spell in season 2015/16.

Hibs manager Shaun Maloney stated: “Ewan is an extremely talented player. He has superb awareness and vision, he’s creative and will provide assists.

“He’s a player I really want to help to develop so he can show the league the talent he has.

“As a club, we look forward to helping Ewan develop so he can achieve his potential over the coming years.”