Lee O’Connor leaves Celtic for permanent stay at Tranmere

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Lee O’Connor has left Celtic to join Tranmere Rovers on a permanent deal.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 defender makes the switch on a two-and-a-half year contract for an undisclosed fee.

O’Connor joined the League Two highflyers on a season long loan last season which was extended into this campaign.

And the Merseyside outfit have now made it permanent with O’Connor leaving Celtic having signed there from Manchester United in 2019 on a four-year deal.

O’Connor has one senior Ireland cap having played – and assisted a goal – for Mick McCarthy in a friendly win over New Zealand in 2019.

The Waterford native, 21, said today: “I’m delighted. It was something I’ve wanted to do for a while as I’ve loved my time here so far.

“I’ve really felt at home since my first day. Not only am I enjoying it personally but I think I’m developing really well and I just want to continue that.

“I feel like this is the best thing for my career and it was an easy decision. To play your best football you have to be happy and I’m happy.”

O’Connor, who has 18 appearances this season, added: “We’re on a good run now and it’s just about keeping it going, starting with a big game on Saturday.”

Tranmere are second in League Two, seven points behind leaders Forest Green who also have a game in hand.

But boss Micky Mellon said: “We’re really pleased to sign Lee permanently. It’s really important that we have our own players when possible.

“We’re really appreciative of our loan players but we’d always like to have players of Lee’s quality as our own player.

“We can continue to work with him, he knows where his future is going to be and we’ve got ourselves a really good midfielder/right back for the foreseeable future.”

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