Celtic have completed the signing of Luca Connell on a four-year deal.
The Liverpool-born midfielder completed the move after prolonged speculation. He told the club website he was delighted to complete a deal: "It is unbelievable to sign for such a massive club, known all around the world.”
The move was complicated by Bolton's financial situation. Connell had reportedly submitted notice to terminate his contract. As a free agent, the club would only be due £250,000 in a development fee.
FIFA forbid players under 18 moving to a foreign club but players aged 16-17 can move within two countries in the European Economic Area.
A spokesperson for Bolton’s joint administrator said the club had sought legal advice over the move, but that a “discrepancy” in the transfer rules between England and Scotland meant there was nothing they could do to prevent it.
However, the Scottish champions have made a goodwill gesture to pay more for the academy graduate.
To their credit, Celtic recognised that and have agreed to pay substantially more than the financial obligations in Luca’s contract.
The funds come as a welcomed boost. The club were relegated from the Championship last season and failed to fulfil their final match against Brentford. A takeover collapsed and they will start League One on -12 points.
Connell will now link up with his new team-mates on their pre-season tour of Austria.