Ange Postecoglou and the Celtic transfer clue dropped by David Healy amid mystery Scottish interest

By Ben Banks

Linfield manager David Healy says the Northern Irish club won't be forced into cheap sales after fending off late summer interest in right-back Trai Hume amid Celtic links.

Ange Postecoglou's side - along with Lincoln City - were linked with a last-gasp summer move for the highly-rated Linfield teenager.

The links emerged late in the window as bids were rejected for the versatile defender who can also play centre-back - with interest from an unnamed SPFL side now confirmed by Healy.

Hume had a successful loan spell with Ballymena United last season and has emerged as one of the NIFL Premiership's biggest prospects.

Linfield rebuffed offers in excess of £100,000 for the right-back, a position which has caused Celtic problems this season.

At 19, Hume would have been unlikely to earn an immediate first-team place. Josip Juranovic arrived in the same window but he's also been injured or needed on the left so once-forgotten man Anthony Ralston has been the number one pick in the role so far.

Postecoglou was linked with a summer move for Trai Hume (Getty Images)

Healy, though, has slammed the thought of Hume leaving the Belfast side for a small fee and noted at least one Scottish club have enquired so far.

He told the Belfast Telegraph : "With our valuation of the player, it was a million miles away. Trai is still developing and in need of experience and games.

"He still needs to gather minutes. He will do that over the period of time that he remains at our football club, unless somebody who values the player properly comes in.

“One thing we don’t want to do is stand in anybody’s way but we don’t want to devalue our football club.

"No disrespect to some of the clubs in England or Scotland who enquire about not only Trai, but some of our younger players, but they promise them the high life and dreams and whatever else.

Healy is determined to keep his young star for the foreseeable future (Getty Images)

"All of a sudden they are back in Northern Ireland a couple of years later because someone who was behind them in England or Scotland has overtaken them.

"We want to put a marker down whereby we say to clubs if you want our players, gone are the days when you give us a £1,000 development fee for a 16-year-old who we feel in two years’ time could be worth £50,000 or £100,000.

"Those days are long gone.”


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