Football

Stefan Johansen attracting plenty of interest

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Celtic Football Club have rarely got out of second gear in their subsequent retention of the Scottish Premier League title and along the way the club have unveiled an abundance of potentially top drawer talent, most of whom are tipped for big moves.

Stefan Johansen, the latest player to be added to the Rumour Mill at Celtic Park, has been the standout player for the campions elect in the SPFL this season, being named as their Player of the Season due to his contribution in midfield and his ability to play behind forwards so seamlessly unlocking opposition defences.

The Norwegian, who joined Celtic last January for a cool £2 million, is also up for the SPFL Player of the Season award. It is a nomination that has not gone unnoticed.

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The 24-year-old has admitted in the past that he does feel settled at Parkhead, however with his ability being limited by what is arguably a substandard level of football, the playmaker is expected to make another step up in class in the not so distant future.

Strømsgodset, then managed by Celtic's current manager Ronny Delia, agreed to sell their midfielder to Glasgow giants in January 2014 at a time where the player and manager were pushing for European football and sustained development.

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However with Celtic faltering at the qualification stages for the Champions League this season Johansen was rumoured to make an early exit from the club.

Johansen is tipped to be coaxed away to Germany or a side more central in Europe, as the player's style is more suited to that on the continent, however he claims not to be pursuing a move, having urged Celtic to start contract talks.

"I'm happy here at Celtic," were the player's words as he looks back on a season that has been a successful one for his club. "I feel like I'm becoming a better player every day. I don't see any reason why I should move."

Having scored 12 goals already this campaign, and holding a pivotal position in his side's imminent crowning as league champions, it looks like the Hoops will have to pull out all the stops to keep him from the clutches of more affluent sides.

But Delia, a long term admirer of his midfield maestro, is adamant on building his Celtic empire around the player he adored at Strømsgodset.

Talking to the Daily Record Delia was quick to talk up Johansen's influence.

"Celtic is the right place to be for him and he is one the of players we want to build the team around."

Delia, confident the player is staying put, is keen to see the man he brought to Glasgow maximise his ability;

"Stefan has big potential and he knows what’s it’s all about now and I believe he can improve more here.

Johansen is sure to be on a few wanted lists this summer as the he closes in on back to back domestic honours and weith decent European experience under his belt., although both player and manager have dismissed a move, it's not to say some of Europes big guns won't come knockin' for come the summer.

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