Celtic secure Chelsea's Musonda on long-term loan


Celtic have signed Charly Musonda on an 18-month loan deal from Premier League champions Chelsea.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has operated on the fringes of Antonio Conte's first-team squad this season, making seven appearances in all competitions.

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers tried to secure Musonda's services before the start of the season and feels the Scottish Premiership's dominant side have pulled off a transfer coup as they move towards a Europa League round-of-32 clash with Zenit next month.

"There were around 24 clubs that were interested in taking Charly, so for him to want to come here and for Chelsea to very happily let him come to Celtic is a great coup for Celtic," said Rodgers.

"It's a really exciting prospect to the club. Charly is big talent I've known for a few years now, and it's a big thank you to Chelsea because he's really one of the shining lights in their academy. He has progressed through with various loans and has been part of their first-team squad.

"It's also a good opportunity for Charly to come into one of the great clubs and get the opportunity to show his talents. He's a really exciting player, very dynamic, wonderful ability on the ball and works very hard. He loves his football and is a bright player."

Rodgers suggested he would be ready to throw Musonda straight into action against Hearts on Tuesday and the new recruit is relishing the prospect of turning out at Celtic Park.

"It's simple for me - Celtic is a massive club," he told Celtic TV.

"It's a club with many fans, an unbelievable passion, and the culture is more than a club.

"Those were the most important things, and I wanted to go somewhere where I would enjoy my football, and I know the manager as well. I am very happy to be here.

"It's a massive club and I am really looking forward to it. I was quite close to coming last summer but it didn't happen.

"I spoke again with the manager a couple of weeks ago and I said I had a feeling that this is where I want to come and play my football. I am very lucky to be here and I am very happy to be here."