Celtic snap up Wanderers starlet Nikolic

Stefan Nikolic has become the latest Australian to join Celtic Source: Supplied

Gun Western Sydney Wanderers youngster Stefan Nikolic has become the latest Australian to join Celtic, with the striker agreeing a three-year deal with the Scottish giants.

The prolific 16-year-old predator - described as an “out-and-out goalscorer” by Wanderers academy chief Ian Crook - joins compatriots Tom Rogic and Daniel Arzani on the Bhoys' books after impressing during two separate trial periods over the last two years.

Negotiations with Wanderers management were delayed by the COVID-19 outbreak, but it’s understood the deal, which will in involve a compensation fee, is done and Nikolic will jet to Glasgow once travel restrictions are eased.

Though Nikolic has never featured in the first team, his strike rate with the Wanderers youth team over the past three seasons has been eye-catching.

He scored 36 goals in 25 games in his debut season to set the tone.

He shares the same management company as established Parkhead star Rogic - headed up by former Socceroos defender Andy Bernal.

And he comes with a football pedigree.

Father Roman, who is of Serbian extraction, was on Red Star Belgrade’s roster when they beat Marseille on penalties to lift the European Cup in 1991, before returning to Australia a year later.

Former Wanderers academy player of the year Nikolic was first linked with the Hoops 15 months ago during Brendan Rodgers’ reign and the interest never wained under Neil Lennon.

“This was his third season with us,” added former Tottenham and Norwich midfielder Crook, who has played a significant part in his development.

“He’s got terrific potential and can finish from many different areas.”