St Patrick's Athletic have confirmed that 18-year old defender James Abankwah is bound for Serie A, as a transfer deal with Udinese has been agreed.

Abankwah will remain on loan with St Pat's until July, allowing him to complete his Leaving Cert, before joining Udinese in time for the 2022-23 season, reportedly for a fee that could rise to around €500,000.

"I'm buzzing and absolutely delighted that the deal is gone," Abankwah said in a statement released by the club.

"I found out last week about the interest, flew out on Monday, had my medical on Tuesday and signed today so I'm really looking forward to it. The people here are lovely, they've been very welcoming, the city is very nice.

"I'm feeling very happy right now and I'm lost for words, I'd like to thank St Pat's, Cherry Orchard, Melview FC and Letterkenny Rovers. I'm looking forward to getting going and still have a big six months at St Pat's and my Leaving Cert."

Born in Ghana, Abankwah grew up in Longford before moving to Dublin in his mid-teens.

A Republic of Ireland international at U18 and U19 level, Abankwah signed for St Pat's from Cherry Orchard in 2019, breaking into the first team in 2021.

The defender made 13 appearances for the club in 2021, coming on as a sub in November's FAI Cup final victory over Bohemians.