Newcastle United beat off competition from Celtic and West Ham to sign Man City starlet

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Celtic have missed out on one of their key transfer targets this month.

Newcastle United have won the race to sign Celtic-linked midfielder Alfie Harrison in a deal which could end up totalling around £3.5m, according to the Shields Gazette.

Harrison signed for Manchester City’s academy when he was just nine years old and rapidly climbed through the ranks before signing his first scholarship in 2022.

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The 18-year-old is described by the club’s website as a player capable of impacting the game with goals and assists from midfield. He showcased this last term as he grabbed six goals and provided four assists in his debut season in the U18 Premier League.

Harrison has drawn comparisons to City’s star striker Erling Haaland for his appearances, as well as his composure and clinical finishing in and around the penalty area. So far this season he has already improved on last year’s goal tally with eight goals from 10 appearances at U18 level.

This form caught the attention of Celtic, who have previously signed the likes of Jeremie Frimpong, Patrick Roberts and Jason Denayer from the Etihad in recent years.

Newcastle United’s head of youth recruitment Paul Midgely, who left Man City for the Magpies in 2022, is thought to be a huge admirer of the player and it is widely reported by the Daily Mail that he instigated the push to bring Harrison to Tyneside.

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Reflecting on the transfer, Howe said: "We welcome him into the football club, I wasn't directly involved in that transfer but we welcome him into the club. He's a very talented young player and we hope he does really well with us."

Newcastle’s current injury crisis in midfield leaves the club without Joelinton, Elliot Anderson, Joe Willock and the suspended Sandro Tonali. Harrison is thought to be one for the future, but based on the progress of Lewis Miley, he will have hopes of breaking into the first team sooner than expected.

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