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Exclusive Arsenal are taking an interest in Celtic’s Ryan Christie as the Gunners look for a solution in January to their offensive midfield woes.
Christie’s form has faltered this season as the Scottish champions have stumbled, but she remains a central figure for the club and the country. In one of his quieter seasons in Glasgow, he has provided 11 assists in all competitions and has played a key role in leading Scotland to Euro 2020.
The 25-year-old will enter the final season of his contract in 2021/22 and has so far given no indication that he will renew. That has put several of the main players in the transfer market on notice.
A source has indicated to 90min that Christie is considering her options and would consider a move if Celtic accepted an offer. Several Premier League clubs, including Leicester, Newcastle, Southampton, Brighton and Burnley, are interested, as are several clubs on the continent. 90min He understands that Arsenal have joined the long list of clubs considering an approach.
The Gunners have looked at a number of potential offensive midfielders including Isco, Houssem Aouar and Dominik Szoboszlai, all on the agenda at one point or another. Christie is a cheaper and lower-profile option than any of the above, but his selfless and hard-working attitude made him want Brendan Rodgers at Celtic and could attract Mikel Arteta.
Christie has starred for Inverness and Aberdeen in the past and Rodgers highlighted him in the 2018/19 season after returning from a loan stint at Pittodrie. While in Aberdeen he was teammates with James Maddison, and has often been compared to the current Leicester star, with former Scotland coach Craig Brown saying Christie was the better of the pair.
Arsenal have been delighted with their latest Celtic acquisition as Kieran Tierney has cemented a place on the side, and they know that the good relationship between the couple, who still share a hotel room while off duty in Scotland, could be a good position to secure Christie.
A substantial offer will likely be required to attract Christie. Celtic don’t tend to sell cheap at best and in the midst of a title challenge that seems to be running away from them, they want to avoid unnecessary disturbances.
But the arrival of Arsenal on the scene could change the game if an offer comes through.