Saturday, January 23, 2010

Celtic move for Ireland's Marc Wilson

Celtic have launched a loan bid to take Portsmouth defender Marc Wilson on loan for the rest of the season.

Tony Mowbray is keen to land the former Ireland under-21 international for the second half of the season.

The Hoops were also in for Arsenal defender Philipe Senderos but believe he is now out of their reach and have now turned their attentions to Pompey’s young Irish rising star Wilson.

Celtic wouldn’t have a chance of landing the County Antrim born 22-year-old under normal circumstances but they are hoping Portsmouth’s horrendous financial predicament will allow them to push the deal through.

Contact has already been made and the early indications are that the Premiership strugglers would prefer to sell rather than loan out their £2.5 million-rated star.

Wilson, who can play anywhere across the back or as a holding midfielder, is a regular in Avrum Grant’s team but would consider a move to the SPL as the financial uncertainty continues over his South Coast club.

The latest takeover has seen Portsmouth fail to pay their wages on time and they have also been banned from signing any players until they pay of all their outstanding debts.

Wilson, who has made 18 top-team appearances this season, has been as Portsmouth for four years after he quit Manchester United’s youth academy.

His impressive recent from for Pompey has brought him to the attention of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni and Wilson may figure in Ireland's European Championship campaign, which starts later in the year.

It’s a far cry from the early years when he started his football career with the under nines at Lurgan Town and went on to play for the under 10s and under 11s.

His displays in the Lisburn League caught the eye of a Manchester United scout and he travelled over with other youngsters for coaching.

Up until 15 he was with United but then was told he did not make the height needed although since then he has grown to six feet two inches.

Then a West Ham scout, who was a good friend of Harry Redknapp, recommended Marc to Harry who had taken over as manager of Portsmouth.

Despite attracting interest from other clubs such as Blackburn, Sunderland, Tottenham and Middlesboro Marc was impressed with the set-up at Portsmouth.

In July 2004 he signed for the club and it was on September 24, 2008 he made his Premiership debut against Chelsea.

An all round player who can play anywhere he was marked down as a central defender by the former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams during his time at Portsmouth.

Last season was plagued by injuries but now back to full fitness Marc has established a place for himself in the first team squad, making 24 appearances this season.

During his early years he was also an accomplished gaelic player with the St Mary’s club in Aghagallon and the school teams.

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