Sky Sports journalist Anthony Joseph has provided an update on the future of Celtic midfielder Ryan Christie.
The 26-year-old, valued at £6.3m on Transfermarkt, had a very fruitful year for the Hoops, scoring seven goals and chipping in with 15 assists in all competitions, the latter of which was the most of any player in the Celtic side and almost double that of those directly behind him.
But what is in store for him next season is still up in the air, as a report from The Daily Mail (via The Scottish Sun) in April revealed that he is out of contract in January and could, in theory, be at risk of being taken for free on a pre-contract agreement when his deal enters the final six months in July.
Speaking on the Only As Good As Your Last Game podcast, Joseph discussed the situation and revealed how things could get complicated for Celtic depending on how he does at this summer’s European Championships:
“I don’t think there’s a clause in his contract, I think his contract ends at the end of December. So he is able to speak to clubs this summer to sign a potential pre-contract. But if he has a good Euros, a club might want to get him straight away. He’s also been linked with moves to England.
“It’s also my understanding that he would be quite keen on a move abroad as well. So if he has a good Euros, which he could well do, he’s one of Scotland’s main players, Celtic could see him leave for a decent fee considering the contract situation.”
Is Ryan Christie irreplaceable?
TIF Thoughts on Anthony Joseph’s comments on Ryan Christie…
It is certainly a dangerous game that Celtic have been playing in letting his contract run down this late – particularly for a player that has contributed as much as Christie compared to his teammates – and as Joseph hinted at, his value could very well be dictated by what he is able to do with the national side this summer.
And whilst his value to the team is certainly important based on last year’s numbers, with a new manager coming in who might be looking to make changes at the club in terms of playing staff, he might be hoping that he has a stormer in order to drive that value up so that he can cash in.
Because if he doesn’t, they run the risk of letting him go for nothing, which could end up hurting the club financially if he’s just allowed to walk.