Oliver Burke keen on permanent Celtic switch as he looks to settle down

Flanked by Kelly Clark, left, and Cheryl McCulloch, Oliver Burke helps announce Indigo Unified Communications as the new shirt sponsor of the Celtic Women's team. Picture: SNS.
Flanked by Kelly Clark, left, and Cheryl McCulloch, Oliver Burke helps announce Indigo Unified Communications as the new shirt sponsor of the Celtic Women's team. Picture: SNS.
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Oliver Burke was born in Kirkcaldy but moved to Melton Mowbray when he was six years old following his parents’ divorce, finding refuge in football.

A child prodigy, he was fast-tracked into Nottingham Forest’s youth academy aged nine and, for the next decade, his career graph continued to spiral upwards.

He broke into Forest’s first team at 17 and, two years later – by which time he had already been capped by Scotland – he relocated to Germany with RB Leipzig in a £13 million transfer, a fee which was exceeded when West Bromwich Albion paid the Bundesliga club £15m to secure his services 12 months later.

Burke, still only 21, also managed to find time for a loan spell with Bradford City before eight-figure fees beckoned. Consequently, Celtic, whom he joined in a loan deal last month, is his fifth club in only four years.

The forward, who was frequently compared to Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale during his time at the City Ground, has made an immediate impact with the Premiership champions, scoring twice in five games and he revealed that he wishes to make his switch to Parkhead permanent, claiming that the nomadic lifestyle no longer holds any appeal for him.

“Right now I’m just focusing on day-to-day; I don’t want to look ahead too far because sometimes decisions can be taken out of your hands,” he said. “But if I’m enjoying my football, then I want to stay. It’s obviously an amazing club to be at, the fans are great, we have a great manager so what’s not to love? I’m really happy so we’ll just have to see what happens.”

The 6ft 2in winger, who has been deployed as a central striker by manager Brendan Rodgers, revealed that even his new team-mates were surprised to discover how young he is.

“I get that a lot,” he said. “People forget my age, I think. When I came here some of the boys asked how old I was and they were a little bit surprised when I told them. That’s maybe because it feels like I’ve been around for ages but, really, things have just happened in such a short period of time. People forget about that.

“But I think it’s cool and I’m happy with how everything has gone. I don’t have any regrets and feel I’ve learned about a lot in life in general by moving to different countries; it’s been big learning curves.

“A lot of the boys I know from growing up are still at the same club they’ve been with since we were young but for me I’ve been experiencing different opportunities and it’s been fun.

“However, I’ve felt recently that I want to be settled and find a club where I’m happy at and enjoying my football. I sort of got sick of the whole moving around thing.

“I want to settle down now and, although I know this is a loan at the moment, it’s going really great for me so we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

Celtic would probably need to come close to matching the £10m record fee they paid Paris Saint-Germain to sign striker Odsonne Edouard last year in order to persuade his parent club to release him from a contract which runs until the summer of 2022. However, Burke believes that he is improving as a player at Celtic.

“I think there’s still more to come from me,” he said.

“With more game time I think I’ll develop more and get better and better. I’ll get more comfortable in the positions I’m being played too.”