Celtic linked with Italy starlet Diego de Girolamo

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CELTIC face competition from Benfica, Juventus and Southampton for Sheffield United forward Diego de Girolamo.

The Hoops have been linked with the Italy Under-20 starlet, and is set to leave Bramall Lane in the summer when his contract is up.

Diego de Girolamo is wanted by Celtic, Benfica and Juventus. Picture: PA

Diego de Girolamo is wanted by Celtic, Benfica and Juventus. Picture: PA

De Girolamo, born in Chesterfield but eligible for Italy through his father, has made just a handful of appearances for the Blades and has spent time on loan at York City and is currently at Northampton Town.

The 19-year-old is thought to be a target for Juventus and Portuguese giants Benfica, while Celtic are keen on taking de Girolamo to Lennoxtown to train with them.

Southampton have also been credited with an interest in de Girolamo, who won plaudits for his performance against Preston in the FA Cup - but has told Blades boss Nigel Clough he won’t be putting pen to paper on a new deal.

Celtic have had a number of Italian players over the years, most notably Paolo di Canio, Massimo Donati and Enrico Annoni.

Other Italians at Celtic include Alessandro Sanna and Marco Cortani, who arrived from Roma under Josef Venglos and Rolando Ugolini, who played a few games in the 1940s in goal.

Daniele Giordano was another goalkeeper, signed from Lecce in 2008 while left-back Luca Santonocito arrived from Inter Milan in 2007 and joined AC Milan in 2010 after three years at Celtic.

Third-choice ‘keeper Leo Fasan is the only Italian currently on Celtic’s books.

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