Celtic and Stoke hunt Derry striker Michael Harris 

The forward has been tracked by suitors while impressing for the Candystripes’ U19 side last season
Celtic and Stoke hunt Derry striker Michael Harris 

Michael Harris before a Derry City training session at Aileach FC in Burnfoot, Donegal in 2020. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The League of Ireland could lose another of its teen stars during this window, with Derry City striker Michael Harris attracting interest from Celtic and Stoke City.

Donegal native Harris has turned down a contract extension from Ruaidhrí Higgins to remain for the club’s 2022 title bid amid approaches from UK clubs.

The forward has been tracked by suitors while impressing for the Candystripes’ U19 side last season, crowned by scoring the deciding penalty in the EA Sports Enda McGuill Cup final win over Bohemians.

Celtic have already shopped in the north-west this month by recruiting Johnny Kenny from Sligo Rovers for an initial fee of €150,000.

Unlike his fellow attacker, though, Convoy native Harris is out of contract and therefore won’t command a fee for Derry City, only the Fifa compensation liable for a player aged under 23.

English Championship club Stoke, managed by former Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill, is also in the frame to prise Harris away during this window which closes on Tuesday.

"I've spoken to Michael a while back and he's aware that we'd like to keep him at the club,” Higgins told the Derry Journal last month about one of his young gems.

"There seems to be a bit of interest but if he did decide to stay he would be part of the first team squad going forward. It's basically up to him to decide."

Meanwhile, last season’s League of Ireland top scorer Georgie Kelly is due to join Chiedozie Ogbene and Kieran Sadlier at Rotherham United.

Kelly could have stayed at Bohemians or re-joined home club Derry but the 25-year-old wanted to seek a better challenge abroad and is moving to a club on the up on a three-and-a-half year contract.

Rotherham are third in League One, just one point off co-leaders Wigan Athletic and Sunderland, and view Kelly’s arrival as firepower reinforcement for their push to clinch a return to the Championship at the first attempt.

St Patrick's Athletic have confirmed the loan signing of goalkeeper Joseph Anang from West Ham United ahead of the season starting on February 11 against Shamrock Rovers in the President’s Cup final.

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