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Who is John Mahon? All you need to know about the Sligo Rovers defender linked with Rangers and Celtic

Sligo Rovers' John Mahon is attracting interest from across the water.
Sligo Rovers' John Mahon is attracting interest from across the water.
SligoRovers'' John Mahon up against Ronan Hale last season.

Rangers and Celtic are preparing to do battle over a teenage sensation from the League of Ireland.

Sligo Rovers' John Mahon has impressed in his 30 first team appearances and at just 19, is seen as one of the division's hottest young prospects.

But if recent reports are to be believed, he might not be sticking round the for long. Celtic are already said to have sent their U21 head of recruitment Willie McStay to run his eye over the teenager while Glasgow rivals Rangers are also thought to be keen alongside Blackburn Rovers and Derby County.

So just what is all the fuss about? Here's the low-down on the man in question:

Who is John Mahon?

Age: 19

Position: Centre-back

Height: 6'1

Club history: Sligo Rovers, Ballisodare United. After joining Sligo, he progressed quickly from the U17 side and made his senior debut in a 1-0 win over Finn Harps in the League Cup back in April 2017.

International experience: Mahon's progress has not gone unnoticed in the Republic of Ireland HQ as new U21 boss Stephen Kenny, whose Dundalk side twice came up against the player last season. Mahon was called into the RoI U21s training camp last month and will be hoping he has done enough to land a spot in the opening UEFA U21 Championship qualifier at home to Luxembourg next month.

Contract status: Mahon signed a new 2.5 year deal at Sligo last summer, taking him to the end of the League of Ireland 2020 season.

How good is he? According to former Sligo boss Gerard Lyttle - very. "I see John having a massive future ahead of him and the club has shown that faith in him today," he said after the youngster signed his new contract. “I think he’ll take this chance and go on to get better and better and it’s really great for our supporters to watch a Sligo lad with that ability."

Where does he want to go? Reports suggest that Mahon favours a move to Celtic or one of his England suitors. And with Dedryck Boyata and Filip Benkovic both expected to move on this summer, it may not be a bad time to arrive at Celtic Park as a centre-half.

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