Manchester City wanted ‘Kosovan wonderkid’ Bersant Celina to join Ipswich Town

Manchester City winger Bersant Celina. Photo: PA

Manchester City winger Bersant Celina. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Ipswich Town have beaten stiff competition to sign Manchester City winger Bersant Celina on a season-long loan thanks to a growing partnership with the Premier League giants.

The 20-year-old – who has been dubbed ‘the Kosovan wonderkid’ on his impressive YouTube highlights video – is highly-rated at The Etihad Stadium and seen as a potential future first team player.

An exciting attacking midfielder who loves to take people on and provide killer crosses, he played a key role for FC Twente as they finished seventh in the Dutch top-flight last season.

The EADT and Ipswich Star understands that a host of top Dutch and Belgian clubs, as well as Championship trio Leeds, Bolton and QPR, were chasing his signature for the 2017/18 season.

However, it’s the Blues who have done the deal thanks to some strong connections with his employers.

Town’s director of football, Dave Bowman, has worked closely with Brain Marwood, the former PFA chairman and one of City’s senior executive staff, through past roles with the Nike Academy.

There are further links with Richard Wright and Mark Kennedy, both former Town players and coaches, now working within the multi-million pound City academy structure.

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Manchester City officials were impressed that Town had been tracking Celina’s progress closely for a year and noted how much wingers Ryan Fraser and Tom Lawrence improved during their loan spells at Portman Road from Premier League duo Bournemouth and Leicester respectively.

The Blues are hoping that Celina – who was born in the Former Republic of Yugoslavia but raised in Norway – can provide the same star quality that City loanee midfielder Aaron Mooy did to Huddersfield Town’s midfield last season.

Celina has only just returned from international duty with Kosovo and jetted straight off on holiday. The deal is complete, but won’t be officially confirmed until he undergoes the formalities of a medical on his return. He’s due to report for Town’s opening day of pre-season training a week on Monday.

Meanwhile, we can reveal that the reason for the hold-up on striker Joe Garner’s £1m switch from Rangers is due to a minor personal financial dispute with his employers which hasn’t yet been resolved due to the fact the 29-year-old got married today.

All aspects of the deal have been agreed and, once that final piece of administration is resolved, he will officially be confirmed as a Town player.