PAUL HARTLEY admits Tony Gallacher is in dreamland after winning a ‘surreal’ move from Falkirk to Liverpool.
The 18-year-old travelled south on Thursday to complete a £200,000 switch to the Anfield giants following a successful trial earlier this month.
The left-back has been linked with interest from the likes of Barcelona, Manchester United, Rangers and Stoke City since breaking into the Bairns first-team in 2015 aged just 16.
But he will now try to follow in the footsteps of Scotland star Andy Robertson at Liverpool after the Reds won the race for his signature.
Hartley said: “It’s an unbelievable move for Tony, it’s great for the kid.
“For a player to come from Falkirk and go to Liverpool doesn’t happen a lot. It’s a dream come true, to be honest with you, and we can’t stand in the way of that.
“It’s an outstanding move for him and hopefully he goes there and proves how good a talent he is.
“There’s been a lot of transfer talk surrounding him over the last 18 months since he came into the team, but to go to Liverpool is a little but surreal for him.
“But we wish him all the best. I’m sure he’s got a bright future ahead of him and it will be a dream come true.”
Gallacher has made 17 appearances for the Falkirk first-team this season and will initially join up with Liverpool’s under-23s.
He is just the latest to win a big move to English football from Falkirk, following in the footsteps of the likes of Scott Arfield, Murray Wallace, Stephen Kingsley, Jay Fulton, Ryan Blair and Botti Biabi in recent years.
Hartley added: “It’s another one that’s come through the ranks and off the conveyor belt.
“Falkirk have a great record over the years of producing players and moving them on and it’s an outstanding move for him.
“It’s fantastic for him and his family and everyone connected to him, and it’s great for the club.”
Ironically, Gallacher’s move comes just weeks after Falkirk cut their ties with the Forth Valley Football Academy that helped develop the defender.
And another Academy graduate, Cieran Dunne, could also win a transfer south after going on trial with Blackburn Rovers this week.
The 17-year-old, who made his debut for the Bairns in October and has played six times, is training with the English League One outfit after impressing scouts.
Hartley added: “Cieran is down in Blackburn for the next few days and we’ll see where it goes.
“I think they’ve seen him a few times and they invited him down, and we’ve let him go down to see a different club and a change of scenery.
“As I’ve said before, we’re not here to stand in anybody’s way. We can’t do anything about bigger clubs coming to take our players, that’s just the way football is.”