Hibs set to miss out as target 'chooses Celtic' - but still in mix for second in-demand youngster

Hibs look to have lost the race for Sligo Rovers striker Johnny Kenny, with reports in Ireland suggesting the forward has opted to join Celtic.

The 18-year-old had an impressive season for the Bit o’ Red and was being courted by the Easter Road side as they gave him a tour of the training centre and a seat in the directors’ box for the 1-0 victory over Dundee last month.

Despite Kenny’s contract at Sligo tying him to the Showgrounds side until the end of 2024 a modest release clause in his contract made him a realistic target for a number of clubs incuding Hibs, who were prepared to pay the six-figure amount.

But the Sligo Champion reports that the Republic of Ireland Under-19 internationalist has been swayed by Celtic’s interest and could make the short hop to Glasgow with the Hoops paying €150,000 plus add-ons to secure his services.

Darragh Burns, seen here celebrating victory in a penalty shoot-out for Northern Ireland U19s, has been linked with Hibs

One player whose future looks a little more unclear is Darragh Burns. The St Patrick's Athletic winger is also on a long-term deal with the Dublin outfit but his performances last term won him numerous admirers.

With no release clause, St Pat’s could essentially name their price for the teenage wideman, who is interesting a number of English clubs including League One Oxford United as well as Hibs.

Burns is also in the process of switching allegiance from Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland and helped the Richmond Park side to FAI Cup success and European football last term.

Meanwhile, St Pat’s are reportedly preparing an ambitious offer in a bid to lure former Hibs striker Eoin Doyle back to Ireland from Bolton.