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Saturday 16 December 2017

Derry forward Duffy is off to Parkhead

DERRY City striker Michael Duffy will complete his move to Celtic in the next 24 hours after the two clubs reached an agreement following weeks of talks.

Duffy scored 15 goals for City last season but the Brandywell club will have to cope without him for the 2015 campaign as he joins Paddy McCourt and Niall McGinn in making the move to Parkhead from Celtic, Derry likely to net only €150,000 from the deal, though that fee could rise depending on the striker's progress.

"A deal has been agreed in principle between the two clubs," said Derry boss Peter Hutton. "It's now just a matter of crossing the ts and dotting the is. We would have liked a bigger fee but it was more the fact that we didn't want to stand in Michael's way.

"There are also some add-ons factored into the deal, so if Michael does well then everybody benefits.

"The deal has now been left between Celtic and Michael's agent to see if they can agree terms. I am delighted for Michael but I am disappointed it is happening on the last day of the transfer window, when it could have been done a month ago. "I am disappointed that it has taken so long to get this far because it leaves me with very little time to replace Michael," added Hutton.

Duffy made his first-team debut for Derry in 2012 but came to the fore last season where he helped City reach the FAI Cup final. He was capped once by the Republic of Ireland at U18 level in 2012, in a squad made up of home-based players, but he has since opted to play for Northern Ireland, winning U21 caps, although the striker has said he is open to the idea of declaring for the Republic.

Derry exports McGinn (now Aberdeen) and McCourt (now Brighton) progressed to the first team at Celtic and Duffy hopes he can follow the same route and win a place in Ronny Deila's squad. Derry are making significant cutbacks ahead of the 2015 season with just one major signing (Cork City's Cillian Morrison) as Barry Molloy, and Danny Ventre have left while Rory Patterson is transfer-listed.

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