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McGinn seals transfer to Celtic

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Interview: New Celtic signing Niall McGinn

Celtic have signed midfielder Niall McGinn from Derry City on a three-and-a-half year contract.

The 21-year-old Northern Ireland player had a medical in Glasgow on Monday and the transfer fee is believed to be in the region of 200,000.

McGinn said: "It's been a great season for me with Derry and to now have joined Celtic just tops it all off.

"There was another club showing real interest. But, when I knew Celtic wanted me, my mind was made up."

McGinn, who had attracted the attention of Wigan, Derby, Ipswich and Swansea, will officially join the Scottish Premier League leaders on 1 January.

Celtic had initially wanted the winger to undergo a trial period with the club, but the deal progressed despite Derry manager Stephen Kenny rejecting that request.

"I'm absolutely delighted to be here," McGinn told Celtic's website. "I've just been working hard and I'm over the moon to get it all sorted.

To get voted Young Player of the Year, make my international debut and then sign for Celtic is a dream

Niall McGinn

"This is a great club. I've supported Celtic since I was a boy and the stadium is incredible."

McGinn, who was recently named the Eircom League young player of the year, made his Northern Ireland debut in last month's 2-0 defeat by Hungary.

"It's been a great year for me," he said. "Stephen Kenny gave me a chance of full-time football and I've got a lot to thank him for.

"To get voted Young Player of the Year, make my international debut and then sign for Celtic is a dream."

Celtic signed Pat McCourt from the Candystripes in June, but the 24-year-old winger has struggled to make an impact in Glasgow and been restricted to two late appearances as a substitute.

The Scottish champions announced the signing of McGinn, who can play on either flank, on the same day that they suspended Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady for a breach of club discipline.

"I'm a winger and I like to get at defenders," said McGinn. "I can play on the right or left and I just want to make a contribution at Celtic.

"I've had a chat with Paddy and the likes of Neil Lennon. Paddy said it was a dream for him to play for Celtic and I feel the same way."

Derry boss Kenny believes it is an excellent move for both the player, who joined Derry from Dungannon Swifts last year, and the Glasgow club.

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"It's a huge step for any player to make. But for a boy of 21 who has only just turned full-time to take it says a lot about his ambition and desire to play at the highest level," said the former Dunfermline manager.

"The potential is there for him to be a top-class player who can excite the fans.

"We've had scouts here from all sorts of clubs in the Premiership and genuine interest from Wigan, Derby, Ipswich and Swansea."

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