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Celtic, RB Leipzig eyeing KAS Eupen's Henry Onyekuru - Sources

Henry Onyekuru
Henry Onyekuru has scored 12 goals and provided six assists in 22 games this season.

A host of Europe's top clubs are tracking Nigerian starlet Henry Onyekuru, sources have told ESPN FC.

Onyekuru is regarded as one of the most exciting young talents in Europe after impressing for Belgian club KAS Eupen.

The skilful attacker has scored 12 goals and laid on six assists for Eupen in 22 games this season to earmark him as one of the hottest properties in Europe.

Scottish giants Celtic have had an offer turned down for Onyekuru with Eupen's Chief Executive Christoph Henkel aiming a swipe at Celtic's attempts to sign the teenager by claiming the player is too good for Scottish football.

"We know Celtic are interested, but Red Bull Leipzig are as well. I don't think the Scottish league is an option for Henry," said Henkel.

"Scotland is 23rd on the UEFA ranking and Belgium ninth. Our competition is therefore more rewarding. Besides, I think the qualities of Henry Onyekuru don't correspond to Scottish football. He would be more likely to flourish in the Bundesliga."

Sources close to Celtic have told ESPN FC that the Scottish champions are unhappy with Eupen's barb.

Onyekuru was spotted playing in Nigeria and was brought to the Aspire Academy in Senegal before linking up with Eupen who are owned by the Aspire Zone Foundation, in the summer of 2015.

Onyekuru has been a revelation for Eupen since his arrival in Belgium helping them win promotion to the top flight in his first season and he has continued to flourish this season.

The teenage talent has spoken to one of Nigeria's most successful players Peter Odemwingie to ask for his advice on what should be his next move in his career.

"I have spoken to Henry as he phoned me for advice and I said to him just think of yourself as Aspire did not think of the hundreds of kids discarded by Aspire and who now find themselves back in Nigeria," Odemwingie told ESPN FC.

"The interest in Henry is great news for Henry, but I am disappointed about the other boys who went to the Aspire Academy and now find themselves on the streets of Lagos."

Eupen are reluctant to lose Onyekuru during this month's transfer and sources have told ESPN FC that the player is upset that the club have gone back on a promise to let him leave in January, while he is unhappy that a director of the club is pushing him to sign for a favoured agent.

Onyekuru's suitors are expected to test Eupen's resolve to hang onto the forward before the close of the transfer window with the player keen on moving to a higher level league.

Peter O'Rourke is ESPN FC's transfer news correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @SportsPeteO.

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