Leeds and Southampton targeting Celtic star

Celtic's Ryan Christie in Europa League action against AC Milan

Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie’s situation is being monitored by a number of English clubs, including Leeds and Southampton. 

According to 90min, Leicester City are ready to offload Demarai Gray in January as they seek to refresh their options out wide, and the Scotland international is one of the players on their radar. 

However, the Foxes aren’t the only club keen on the 25-year-old, with Leeds, Southampton and Newcastle said to be “watching closely”. 

Perhaps that’s inevitable considering Christie’s contract status at Parkhead. His contract is due to expire in 2022, meaning it will have just 18 months left when the January transfer window opens – which could make next month Celtic’s best opportunity to fetch a decent fee for him. 

After providing eleven goals and eleven assists in the top flight as Celtic won the title last season, Christie has been in good form this term too – he’s scored nine goals in all competitions this campaign, including two goals for Scotland in the Nations League.

GIVEMESPORT’s Christy Malyan says…

Christie looks like a good fit for the way Southampton and Leeds both like to play. 

It would perhaps be too simplistic to merely compare him to Stuart Armstrong, who has become an important part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad since swapping Celtic for St. Mary’s, but they do share a similarity in style – chiefly that ability to combine moments of attacking brilliance with tenacity and aggression off the ball. 

In the Europa League this season, Christie’s averaged 2.2 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 2 fouls per match, showing his eagerness to win the ball back.

That hunger allows Christie to gain possession high up the pitch in areas where his technical prowess instantly comes into play, and naturally suits Hasenhuttl’s and Marcelo Bielsa’s philosophies, which demand the midfielders to really press the opposition. 

Aged 25 and in a situation where his contract’s winding down, provided Celtic don’t hold out for massive fee Christie feels like the kind of logical punt worth taking – even if it’s not clear whether he can ultimately transition a similar level of output to Premier League football. 

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