Celtic may well have encountered a setback in their pursuit of the highly rated Jarrad Branthwaite amid reports that Newcastle United have first refusal on the teenager. 

The 17-year-old emerged as a target for Celtic last month and recent reports have suggested that the club’s head of football operations Nick Hammond has scouted the defender in person with a potential January move in mind.

However according to the Shields Gazette, Newcastle have first refusal on the teenager after including the clause in a loan deal which saw the Magpies’ Elias Sorensen join Carlisle United for this season. 

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Newcastle have certainly made an incredibly smart move if indeed they do have first refusal on Branthwaite.

The 17-year-old is highly sought after following his breakthrough into the first-team at Carlisle this season, and appears to be one of Celtic’s main targets given how Hammond has scouted the defender in person.

However the Magpies now look set to determine the teenager’s future due to their first refusal, and you would imagine the Premier League side are keen to a activate that clause and sign Branthwaite permanently.

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