Marco Tilio signs with Scottish giants Celtic

Marco Tilio has officially joined Celtic, signing a five-year contract until the end of the 2027/28 season, subject to international clearance.

Tilio moves from Melbourne City breaking the previous Australian transfer record set by teammate Jordan Bos following his switch to Belgium just over a month ago.

He becomes the second acquisition since Brendan Rodgers returned to the club as manager this month and will also link up with fellow Aussie Harry Kewell.

The 21-year-old, who has seven caps for the Subway Socceroos, enjoyed a stellar 2022/23 campaign with City, scoring 10 goals and registering six assists in 29 league appearances.

The winger was also named in Graham Arnold's FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ squad.

During his three years with City, Tilio won three consecutive premierships and a championship in 2021, while accumulating 86 matches in all competitions, recording 20 goals and 19 assists.

As his excellent form continued, speculation surrounding his long-term future increased and it was the 53-time Scottish Premiership champions winning the race for his signature.

Speaking to Celtic TV after completing his first move abroad, Tilio was understandably excited.

"I’m ecstatic that I’m coming over to Europe, coming to such a big club and team, and I’m super-excited," he said.

“I hope to bring all my qualities, take on players in and around the box, help the team contribute to goals with assists and hopefully put a few in the back of the net as well.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for myself and having seen Aussies go over there and do well at such a prestigious club, it’s a massive opportunity for myself that I couldn’t deny.

“And being around those guys, Aaron Mooy and Tommy Rogic, in the national team camp over recent years, obviously helped make my decision easier.

“It’s always been a plan ever since I moved over to Melbourne three years ago.

“It was my plan to go over and do well, and hopefully proceed to go on to different and bigger and better things, and now I think is the time for me to come over to Europe and really challenge myself."

Tilio, who will wear the number 23 shirt with Celtic, like he did with Melbourne, added: "I’m really excited with the opportunity I have to come to this club and hopefully I put my best foot forward and play some good football.

“I think it’s a massive opportunity to be a part of a team that plays in the Champions League, and have a winning mentality in bringing trophies. I think that’s important.

“And as a player that’s what you want to be a part of and what you want to do is win trophies, win games. For me it’s always been about that here in Australia and I want to come over there and do the same thing.”

Tilio becomes the third  Melbourne City and Subway Socceroo to have secured transfers overseas after Jordan Bos and Aiden O'Neill signed with Belgian outfits KVC Westerlo and Standard Liege respectively.

He will depart Australia in the coming days to join Celtic's pre-season ahead of their season-opening clash against Ross County on Saturday, 5 August.