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Norwich City transfer rumours: Luca Connell back on Canaries' radar

PUBLISHED: 15:49 26 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:05 26 June 2019

Republic of Ireland youth international Luca Connell, right, is expected to leave Bolton this summer Picture: Tim Goode/PA

Republic of Ireland youth international Luca Connell, right, is expected to leave Bolton this summer Picture: Tim Goode/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

Bolton's Republic of Ireland starlet Luca Connell is again being linked with a summer move to Norwich City.

The teenage defensive midfielder is rated one of the best prospects in the Football League, with Celtic reportedly leading the chase for his signature as he prepares to leave the crisis-hit Trotters.

The Sun now claim on Wednesday afternoon both City and Championship club Middlesbrough are weighing up 'late moves' for Connell, who was recently called up to the senior Irish set-up.

Robbie Keane, part of Mick McCarthy's coaching team for the Republic, has recently also taken on an assistant coach's role at Boro after linking up with new Teessiders' chief Jon Woodgate.

Connell is believed to be available for training compensation, with the Bhoys' heavily tipped with a £300,000 swoop.

Norwich have made it a clear plank of their recruitment strategy during the close season to attract talented youngsters. Daniel Adshead and Archie Mair are the first two additions, and more are set to follow suit before the new season.

Former City keeper Remi Matthews is a team mate of Connell's at Bolton and, speaking to The Herald earlier this month following strong links to Celtic, was in no doubt the teenager is the real deal.

"From day one, he has been sensational," said Matthews. "I didn't really know too much about him really until about two weeks before his debut, because he hadn't really been training with the first team.

"Then, all of a sudden, he appeared one day, and you could tell straight away that there was something there.

"Within a couple of weeks, the manager had no choice really but to throw him into the team, because he had acquitted himself so well.

"You never really know how a youngster is going to be able to handle that, and especially with the circumstances he was going into. We were really struggling and there was so much uncertainty around the place, but he wasn't fazed at all.

"He took to it like a duck to water and he was a standout straight away. He's a top player.

"He is so talented. He's a really rounded player.

"He doesn't really have weakness in his game. Sometimes, midfield players can be good going forward, but a bit lacking in a defensive sense, or vice-versa.

"Luca is great going both ways though. He knows his responsibilities on the pitch, and he isn't afraid to put a shift in.

"He also has a great engine, so he can get about the park and contribute at both ends of the field."

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