Southampton are reportedly interested in Celtic’s Ryan Christie and are working on a cut-price transfer deal but may wait until he is available for free.
According to the reports in The Sun, Southampton are lining up a late move for Celtic star Ryan Christie as manager Ralph Hasenhutl aims to bolster his midfield options. The 26-year-old Scotsman is reportedly available for a low transfer fee before the transfer deadline day, with his contract expiring at the turn of the year.
With Stuart Armstrong said to be pushing for a move away from St Mary’s, it could possibly bring the speculation into motion as the Saints would be forced to bring in a midfield replacement for Armstrong and Christie on cheap certainly fits the bill.
Christie signed for Celtic for a £500,000 compensation from Inverness Caledonian Thistle back in 2015 but was instantly loaned back to Inverness to continue his development. After a couple of decent loan stints at Aberdeen, he was recalled by then-manager Brendan Rodgers to become a part of the first-team setup.
Since then, the Scottish playmaker has netted 41 goals and made 44 assists in just 149 appearances for the Bhoys in all competitions, becoming a fan favourite at the Parkhead with his direct dribbling, intensity, and a wand of a left foot.
Christie’s form fell drastically last campaign as the whole club suffered from a general downturn, but he managed to receive a call-up from Steve Clarke’s for Scotland’s Euro 2020 squad, although he didn’t feature much. The 26-year-old has 20 Scotland caps and racked up four goals.
He is a technically sound player and a diligent worker, a must-have quality required to play under Hasenhuttl. Christie would be an excellent addition to Southampton’s roster. An Insider claims that he may be available for as little as £5 million.
The south coast club have done some very decent business with Celtic in past, bringing in the likes of Victor Wanyama, Virgil van Dijk, Armstrong and Fraser Forster, who all proved to be successful signings in the Premier League.
Southampton need to act swiftly as both Burnley and Sheffield United are waiting on wings to go ahead if a move to St Mary’s falls through. What remains to be seen is whether Southampton will step up their pursuit of Christie with a formal offer or move for other targets.