NC State men’s soccer forward Manny Perez completed a deadline day move to former European and current Scottish Professional Football League champions Celtic. Celtic has loaned Perez out to North Carolina FC for the remainder of the season.
Perez had been on trial at the club during a majority of December, according to the Scottish Sun.
"This is a huge opportunity for me," Perez told NC State athletics. “A lot of people in my hometown are really happy for me and excited for me. It's the right move for the way that I want to continue my soccer development. Celtic is a great place to be and I'm very excited to continue my career as a soccer player.”
According to a release on Celtic’s website, the former Wolfpack winger has signed a three-and-a-half year contract with the team which will keep Perez at the club until the 2023 summer transfer window.
As previously mentioned, the NCFC Academy graduate will stay in Raleigh with NCFC until the end of the 2018-2019 European season.
Perez contributed five goals and four assists his freshman year at NC State, a team high in terms of points. In his sophomore year the winger played just 14 games due to being called up to the U-20 United States Men’s National Team.
"I'm really excited for Manny," NC State head coach George Kiefer told NC State athletics. "I like the fact that if you do well in the ACC, it opens doors both domestically and also in Europe. That's a big reason that if you're a top player looking to play college soccer, you should play in the ACC."
Celtic’s signing of Perez will also do a lot for the men’s soccer recruiting department as a good track record of improving talent will make players more inclined to choose NC State in a sea of very talented soccer programs within the state.
Celtic, who last won a European title in 1966-67, has been champions of Scotland for the previous seven seasons.
The Glasgow outfit has a good track record of producing and developing youth talent in the last decade with players like Liverpool’s defensive stalwart Virgil van Djik, Everton’s James McCarthy and left-back Kieran Tierney, who while still at Celtic is rated as one of the best up and coming fullback talents.
With Celtic’s track record of trusting youth, Perez looks to have made a good decision in picking the Scottish champions to make his break into Europe with.