By Sean Fisher

21st Oct, 2022 | 11:10am

Celtic facing battle to keep hold of 17-year-old wonderkid Rocco Vata - report

Celtic youngster Rocco Vata is being targeted by as many as five top European clubs, according to a report by Tutto Mercato.

Vata is viewed as a future star by Celtic and the Hoops invited the 17-year-old midfielder to join the first team during the pre-season tour of Austria in the summer.

But the club will find it hard to keep hold of the highly-rated Republic of Ireland international, with Italian outlet Tutto Mercato claiming five European giants are all monitoring his academy progress.

According to the report, Manchester City, Arsenal, Juventus, AC Milan and Roma are all keeping a keen eye on Vata, who is described as “the brightest jewel of the Celtic academy.”

Cough it up or leave

Celtic fans can breathe a slight sigh of relief – the report also states that they have “no intention of selling” Vata.

However, money talks and a big financial offer from one of the European giants mentioned before could well sway the board to cash in on their young star.

A £2million fee was mentioned by Tuttomercato, but Celtic would likely demand more for Vata considering the wide interest in his signature.

Should a bidding war break out, the Hoops have the upper hand in playing the interested teams against each other.

If no one meets their demands or asking price, then the answer is simple – Vata stays at Celtic Park. He’s clearly on Ange Postecoglou’s radar after being brought along to the training camp in Austria.

The 57-year-old will without doubt have a long-term plan for how to implement Vata into the first team in Glasgow, and the only thing that should halt that plan is a substantial bid from Europe.

The last thing Celtic want to be doing is kicking themselves for letting a potentially world-class star escape their grip.

In other Celtic news, Liel Abada will give the club a huge big payday next summer