Exclusive - Arsenal are taking an interest in Celtic's Ryan Christie, as the Gunners seek a January fix to their attacking midfield problems.
Christie's form has wavered this season as the Scottish champions have stumbled, but he has remained a central figure for club and country. In one of his quieter seasons in Glasgow, he has laid on 11 assists in all competitions, and played a key role in getting Scotland to Euro 2020.
The 25-year-old will enter the final season on his contract in 2021/22 and has so far given no indication that he will renew. That has put a number of major players in the transfer market on notice.
A source has indicated to 90min that Christie is considering his options and would consider a move if Celtic were to accept an offer. Various Premier League clubs, including Leicester, Newcastle, Southampton, Brighton and Burnley, are interested, as are several clubs on the continent. 90min understands that Arsenal have joined the long list of clubs considering an approach.
The Gunners have looked at a number of potential attacking midfielders with the likes of with the likes of Isco, Houssem Aouar and Dominik Szoboszlai all on the agenda at one stage or another. Christie comes as a cheaper, lower profile option than any of the above, but his selfless, workmanlike attitude endeared him to Brendan Rodgers at Celtic and could appeal to Mikel Arteta.
Christie has starred for Inverness and Aberdeen in the past and was brought to prominence by Rodgers in the 2018/19 season after returning from a loan spell at Pittodrie. While at Aberdeen, he was a team-mate of James Maddison's, and he has often been compared to the current Leicester star - with ex-Scotland manager Craig Brown saying Christie was the better of the duo.
Arsenal have been delighted with their last acquisition from Celtic as Kieran Tierney has cemented a place in the side, and they know the good relationship between the pair, who still share a hotel room while away on Scotland duty, could stand them in good stead to secure Christie.
It will likely require a substantial offer to lure Christie away. Celtic don't tend to sell for cheap at the best of times and in the middle of a title challenge that seems to be running away from them, they want to avoid any unnecessary disturbances.
But Arsenal's arrival on the scene could change the game if an offer arrives.
Source : 90min