Celtic are reportedly set to move on academy graduate Mikey Johnston before the end of the window, with the forward having fallen out of favour at Parkhead of late.
According to Football Scotland, the 23-year-old could be moved on by the Scottish champions ‘in the coming days’, with manager Ange Postecoglou believed to be keen to see the winger get regular minutes elsewhere.
The Glasgow-born ace is said to be ‘weighing up’ his options ahead of his impending exit, with the suggestion being that his departure will only be a temporary one, with three years still to run on his existing deal.
As per the report, the youngster is attracting interest from former Hoops boss Ronny Deila at Belgian outfit Standard Liege, albeit with clubs both in Scotland and England also keeping tabs on the situation.
It looks as if the young Scotsman will likely be the next departure from Postecoglou’s squad before the window is out, with the club having recently allowed £7m man Christopher Jullien to make his return to France to join Ligue 1 outfit, Montpellier.
With former West Ham United flop Albian Ajeti also likely to see his anonymous stint in Glasgow ended as a case of when and not if, it would appear that the former Yokohama boss is keen to shift the ‘deadwood’ over the next week or so.
In the case of Johnston, while it may not be a permanent exit, his seemingly imminent loan move could well be a sign that his time is up with the Old Firm giants, having no doubt had more than enough chances to impress.
Although undoubtedly plagued by injury since making his first-team debut back in 2017, the former Scotland youth international has failed to truly deliver the goods when he has been called upon, scoring just 11 goals and providing only ten assists in 79 games across all competitions thus far.
Last season proved particularly miserable for the £720k-rated dud as he failed to score in 20 games, registering only a single assist after falling way down the pecking order behind the likes of Jota, James Forrest, Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda on the flanks.
While teammate Joe Hart lauded him as an “incredibly talented player”, Johnston has simply not showcased that quality enough to date, infamously finding himself on the wrong end of a rollicking from former boss Neil Lennon back in January 2020.
The mercurial talent has perhaps accurately been described as something of an “enigma” by pundit Frank McAvennie, with ex-Celtic striker insisting that the youth product is unlikely to get a look in at present, although is “too good” to be wasted on the sidelines.
As such, a loan move could well be the ideal scenario to try and revive his floundering career, although quite whether the £7.9k-per-week man will be able to force his way back into Postecoglou’s plans upon his return remains to be seen.
Five years on from his first-team bow, there is no doubt a feeling that his chance for a regular role at his parent club has already come and gone.