Neil Lennon has publicly admitted that the Celtic first-team star wants to leave the club in the future in search of a “different challenge”.
Celtic have a world of worries at the moment. Their 2-2 draw away at Easter Road against Hibernian means that the club have won just two of their last eight games in all competitions. That is not good enough for most clubs, forget won that has won nine straight league titles and is going for a historic 10IAR this season.
Neil Lennon will know that his side needs to find their form quickly or the sack might not be too far away. The manager is certainly walking a tightrope at the moment and the Rangers’ good form means that the rope is shaking as well.
But it just might not be on-field issues that the Hoops have to worry about but off-field as well. Ryan Christie, one of the club’s first-team stars, could already be planning to leave in the near future. At least that is what Lennon appears to have admitted to.
As reported by the Daily Record, the manager said:
“Ryan has also said he would like a different challenge at some stage in his career. Talks are ongoing between the club and his representatives.
“Currently, I think he still has a lot to do and prove here at Celtic and to be fair to him he’s worked really hard the last few games.
“There’s been no agitation or dropping off in his intensity level. He’s just like the rest, a little bit inconsistent at times but we understand that.
“I was delighted with his form going into the international break and he carried that on.”
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Christie has had his fair share of critics in recent times. But to be brutally honest, he has been one of the club’s most consistent performers this season. In 19 appearances in all competitions, he has scored 4 goals and provided 8 assists. Those numbers are much better than what most of the players have managed this season.
Unfortunately, we do not have a timeframe on when he does intend to leave. His contract expires in the summer of 2022. And he will be 27 at that point of time. So if he refuses to sign an extension, the Hoops could be forced to let him go next summer in order to get a transfer fee out of his departure.
But while him leaving will hurt the squad, let’s just say that whoever does not want to play for Celtic can leave. We have too many players right now who just appear to be biding their time in hopes of a big move in the near future. And that has been one of the biggest causes for the club’s downturn in form this season.