Celtic may face a battle to keep one of Neil Lennon’s stars this winter after fresh reports emerged this weekend…
According to The Sun’s Alan Nixon, Ligue 1 outfit Nice are hot on the trail of Hoops midfielder Ryan Christie and are plotting a move for him during the January transfer window.
They value the Scotsman at £10m but believe they could snag him for cheaper as he enters the final 18 months of his contract at Parkhead.
It’s claimed that Premier League duo Burnley and Newcastle United are also interested.
Whilst £10m could prove to be a tempting sum of money, Peter Lawwell would be doing Lennon a disservice by sanctioning such an exit, hasn’t he learned from past errors?
When the Bhoys sold Stuart Armstrong to Southampton for £7m in the summer of 2018, they soon lacked his creative and goalscoring influence from midfield, and in some ways they still do.
Christie has scored three goals and provided seven assists in all competitions already this season, via Transfermarkt, so it’s no surprise to see clubs begin to circle like eagles but selling him would mean they are back at square one for that number ten role.
David Turnbull is still bedding in at Parkhead whilst Lennon clearly doesn’t fancy Olivier Ntcham enough to start regularly.
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder is one of Lennon’s favourites and that much is seen in the high praise handed out in the past, even once comparing his star man to Kevin De Bruyne.
“His energy’s fantastic, his enthusiasm’s fantastic but more than anything it’s his quality. The quality of the ball for the second goal is De Bruyne-esque.”
Even Armstrong himself sees just how important Christie is, praising him during the last international break, adding: “He’s taken it to another level with Celtic and has been fantastic. Even in the European games, he excels. He has so much energy. His technique is spot-on, especially his first touch at speed – that’s incredible. He just poses that attacking threat that every player likes to have. He’s a great player to have in our team.”
Lawwell simply cannot even think about this sale – only if they receive a club-record fee, perhaps.
AND in other news, Celtic can plan for life without Scott Brown with move for SPFL sensation…