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Celtic: Ange could form “immense” duo with Alistair Johnston signing

The January transfer window may still be a month or so away yet Scottish champions Celtic have already acted swiftly to bolster manager Ange Postecoglou’s ranks, with the 57-year-old having overseen the capture of Vissel Kobe starlet, Yuki Kobayashi earlier this week.

The 22-year-old centre-back may not be the only defensive addition that the Old Firm outfit make, however, with the current speculation suggesting that Canadian international Alistair Johnston is attracting interest from those at Parkhead.

According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, the Hoops have reached a “verbal agreement” with the right-back’s current side, CF Montreal, ahead of a move in the New Year, with the Glasgow side seemingly seeking a replacement for Josip Juranovic who could be allowed to leave when the market re-opens.

Johnston himself has already reacted to this hefty speculation in recent days, with the 31-cap sensation having suggested it was an “honour” to be linked with such a historic club, with that seemingly only fuelling the fire regarding a move to Scotland.

The 24-year-old – who is currently representing his country at the World Cup in Qatar – has caught the attention as a result of his sparkling form in the MLS in recent times, having scored four goals and provided four assists in 33 games in 2022.

That end product has seen the 5 foot 11 menace lauded as a “chance creation machine” by Alexandre Gangue-Ruzic, with the former Nashville man also ranking in the top 1% for assists made by those in his position, as per FBref, as well as in the top 9% for dribbles completed as a marker of his forward-thinking intent.

Not just an attacking asset who would suit Postecoglou’s progressive and front-foot approach, the Vancouver-born gem also offers a truly tenacious presence defensively having previously opened up on his love for a battle, stating:

“Nothing gets me more excited [than] if I get clattered into by an opponent or I clatter into him and it’s clean and the guy starts pushing me back. That’s something I just love.”

Such an addition could well add further quality to the Bhoys’ ranks, with Johnston potentially able to form what could prove to be a truly colossal partnership alongside “immense” centre-back Cameron Carter-Vickers, as described by pundit Chris Sutton.

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The latter man has been a real force of nature since his arrival at Paradise on an initial loan deal last summer, with the United States international also proving a truly imposing figure in the backline, with teammate Greg Taylor previously stating: “I try to steer clear of him in training, mind you. He’s some size and he’s quick as well.”

The former Tottenham Hotspur man has been a “rock at the back” for the club in recent times, as per club colleague David Turnbull, with the 24-year-old having been vital in last season’s title success, keeping 17 clean sheets in just 33 top-flight games.

To have another solid presence such as Johnston to the right of him could well make Celtic an even more menacing prospect for opposition forward lines, with the hope being that Postecoglou and co can wrap up a deal for the Montreal man sooner rather than later.