WANDERERS’ administrators have turned down a request from Luca Connell to terminate his scholarship contract at the club.

The 18-year-old midfielder was pictured on a VIP tour of Celtic’s Parkhead stadium yesterday along with Hoops chief executive Peter Lawwell.

A move to the SPL champions looked to be closing in – but The Bolton News understands that after handing in a 14-day notice yesterday, the teenager’s demand has been rejected out of hand.

If Connell became a free agent and joined Celtic, it is thought Wanderers would be paid a development fee of £250,000, which would increase slightly if he went to a club in England.

But it now appears that Bolton are willing to stand firm and insist that if the academy graduate is to leave, a transfer fee must be paid.

Wanderers took up an option to extend Connell's scholarship contract for a third year at the end of last season in the hope new ownership could agree a professional deal.

Connell was called up for the Republic of Ireland senior squad last month but missed out on making his debut for Mick McCarthy’s side because of injury.

He will be in Armenia with the Under-19s squad next month for the European Championships and told the Irish Examiner at the weekend that he has yet to settle on where he will be playing his football next season.

Premier League sides Tottenham, Southampton, Brighton, Burnley, Sheffield United and Norwich City are said to be interested in the Liverpool-born playmaker but referring specifically to Celtic’s interest, Connell said: “Everyone knows Celtic are a massive club.

"It’d be an honour to represent them if that’s what the final decision is. I’m keeping my options open and hopefully I can take the right one in the next few weeks.

“I just want to make sure I’m playing, wherever I go.

“I’ve read in the media that lots of big clubs are interested but I think at this age it’s important to be playing. Then hopefully the money will come with that.

“It has been a busy summer. I’ve had quite a few clubs interested but they come and go by the day. Let’s see which ones stick by me.

“I'm sure that my agent will have something sorted out for me one way or the other and with what's best for me.”