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Football | Celtic sign Johnny Kenny from Sligo Rovers

Celtic have signed Johnny Kenny from Sligo Rovers for £125,000.

The 18-year-old striker, who was Sligo's top scorer in the Premier Division last season, joins the Scottish club on a five-year deal. The Bhoys are currently second in the Scottish table after 20 matches, six points behind league leaders and reigning champions Rangers.

Kenny scored 11 league goals for the Bit O'Red last season, helping Liam Buckley's men to a third-place finish, and also found the net in the club's UEFA Europa Conference League match against Icelandic side FH.

The talented teenage attacker also enjoyed a thrilling start to his international career, scoring in three consecutive matches for the Republic of Ireland at U19 level.

Kenny is Celtic's fourth signing of the January transfer window, with Ange Postecoglou's Bhoys also bringing in Japanese trio Daizen Maeda, Yosuke Ideguchi and Reo Hatate.

Kenny will hoping to emulate the bright start made by former Shamrock Rovers defender Liam Scales at Celtic Park.

"Johnny has been magnificent for Sligo Rovers," Sligo manager Buckley said.

"At a very young age he showed all the attributes to make a successful career in the game and he can take great pride in what he has already achieved in these very early days.

"It was clear a move would occur at some point and as it comes now, all of our staff, players and coaches wish him the very best. He retains our support whenever needed."

Kenny bid Sligo a fond farewell in a letter published on Sligo's club website.

“After six years at the club I have grown up loving, it has come to an end," it read.

"This has been such a tough decision and message to write because I love playing for my hometown club and I love being at home.

"But I think now is the time to test myself at another level. I want to say thanks to every academy manager at the club who has helped me. You’ve been amazing, there is just too many to name.

“To all the people who keep this club running on a daily basis, I want to say thank you for everything since I walked in at that gate at the age of 13.

“To the gaffer Liam Buckley and John Russell – without their trust in me I would be nowhere near where I am today. I can’t speak highly enough of them and what they’ve done for me.

“Finally, to play for the club I love in front of you special fan. It was incredible. I got goosebumps every time my name went around the Showgrounds.

“It was a special feeling to play and score in front of all of you.

“So I want to say a massive thanks for taking to me and the support you’ve given me and I’m sorry I didn’t give you the send-off you deserved. I am now and forever a supporter of Rovers and I can’t wait to watch and support from across the water.

“This club has a special place in my heart. Thank you.”

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