Talented schoolboy Karamoko Dembele has committed himself to Celtic after signing a Scottish Football Association youth registration contract.
The gifted midfielder hit the headlines when he made his debut for Celtic Under-20s at the age of 13 in October last year and has since gone on to play for both Scotland Under-16s and England Under-15s.
Dembele is also in demand at club level but he will continue his coaching and education programme with Celtic and their partnership school, St Ninian’s High in Kirkintilloch.
Celtic’s head of youth, Chris McCart, told the club’s official website: “Clearly there has been considerable publicity surrounding Karamoko, but our focus will be solely on Karamoko’s needs as a young player and we will commit ourselves, as we do with all our players, to giving him the very best opportunity to flourish in football and all other aspects of life.
“Like all young players, it is very important that Karamoko is given the time and space to reach his potential and we believe that our programme will provide such an environment.
“He is still a very young player and he knows how difficult it is to reach the very top in football but we will give him everything he needs to achieve what he can in the game.”
The teenager said: “I’m delighted to have signed at such a wonderful club and I think this is the right place for me to fulfil my potential and achievements. And my goal is to reach the first team.
“It’s not going to be easy becoming a footballer at such a big club, but I will show hard work, commitment and the biggest one for me, responsibility.”
The player’s father, Losseni Dembele, added: “For me it’s about my son’s development and I feel that there isn’t a better place than Celtic for him at the moment. He has been here since he was six years old and it would be brilliant to see him playing at Celtic Park in front of 60,000 fans, but I know this will not happen easily and will take hard work and patience.”