Liverpool have reportedly finalised a six-figure deal to sign Celtic teenager Ben Doak, with the winger becoming the first summer signing of 2022 at Anfield.
The Reds were first reported to be “closing in” on the Scottish winger earlier this month, with the club eager to pounce on the highly-rated teenager.
Liverpool were not alone in their pursuit of the 16-year-old, but after rebuffing Celtic’s efforts to commit his future at Parkhead, Doak has settled on a move to Merseyside.
That is according to The Athletic‘s James Pearce, with the Reds having secured Doak’s signature for a fee of £600,000.
The fee is compensation for Celtic’s role in his development rather than a sizeable figure that may have been expected had he been contracted, with his first professional deal not to come until he is 17 – which will be on November 11.
Welcome to Liverpool Ben Doak! pic.twitter.com/TX2VBesE1b
— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) March 31, 2022
He has already been pictured with his name on the back of a Liverpool shirt at Anfield, but he may have to wait some time to have the No. 7!
Doak has already made his first-team debut for Celtic, with two appearances off the bench in the Scottish Premiership – the first, back in January, made him Celtic’s second-youngest debutant in history.
He comes with a glowing endorsement from Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou, who said of Doak after his debut in January:
“He’s a fantastic kid who comes from a good family. He looked really composed for his age.”
Ben Doak hat trick for Scotland U17s yesterday ?? pic.twitter.com/OiF65LnnAz
— Lewis? (@LewYNWA) March 30, 2022
The teenager’s arrival is indicative of the club’s recruitment strategy following the changes forced by Brexit, with the club looking closer to home at academy level.
And he is not the only Scottish talent of interest, with his under-17s international teammate Rory Wilson also subject to Liverpool’s advances.
The two were mightily impressive during the international break, with Doak scoring a hat-trick for Scotland U17s in addition to two assists across three games, while Wilson notched three goals and an assist.