Dominic Solanke
Solanke's current Chelsea deal to expire this summer. Reuters


  • The 19-year-old's current deal at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season.
  • Liverpool also credited with interest in the striker.
  • But unlike English clubs, the Bhoys can sign him for a fraction of the price.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers admits he is an admirer of Chelsea starlet Dominic Solanke, who he believes is "in a market" of players the Scottish champions should be looking to sign.

Solanke, 19, has made just one senior appearance for the Blues and now appears poised to leave Stamford Bridge. Liverpool have previously been linked with the England Under-21 international but Celtic have now emerged as favourites to sign the striker, with the Daily Record reporting the champions have now "won the race" for the youngster's signature.

While he stopped short of confirming the player is among his summer transfer targets, Rodgers was full of praise for the player he previously worked with as a youth coach at Chelsea.

"I'm delighted for him and the career that he's had up until now as a young player. He's a fantastic talent but [I can say] no more that. I only speak on him because I know the player," Rodgers told a press conference, STV report.

"He's a big talent and it's unfortunate that he's maybe not going to renew his contract at Chelsea, because it's a great club but he obviously deems that his future lies elsewhere.

"Apart from that, nothing else to add. I can see where there's maybe a connection with him but nothing more than that."

Solanke's contract at Chelsea is due to expire this summer but Celtic have a potentially decisive advantage in signing the teenager over Liverpool or any other English side. Premier League clubs are required to pay a potentially significant compensation package for a home-grown players to leave their club before the age of 24. There are no such restrictions on Celtic, however, with the Record suggesting they could sign the youngster for as little as £400,000.

That combined with the successes of Moussa Dembele and Patrick Roberts at Parkhead, Rodgers believes young players like Solanke could look to places like Celtic as ideal next destinations.

"I think across the board I've always said that this is a huge club that will attract players no matter what but I think the compensation situation up here means that it's a very attractive for a young player, his family and an agent to think that you can come out of England maybe and come up to an absolutely huge club.

"You look at Moussa [Dembele's] development this year. Look at Patrick Roberts' development. He leaves here a winner when he goes back to Manchester City. He's getting his hands on trophies and playing Champions League football. He's playing big games and learning to become a winner."

Rodgers added: "There's a huge attraction here for any young player. What you have in England is some outstanding clubs, some fantastic academies but unfortunately there's only so many of them can play in the first team.

"There's a raft of huge talent and it would be silly for us not to be able to tap into that when maybe the right profile of player becomes available."