Canada international Alistair Johnston has joined Celtic; the 24-year-old CF Montreal right-back has been on World Cup duty with Canada; Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis have been linked with moves away from the club
Saturday 3 December 2022 14:19, UK
Celtic have completed a deal to sign CF Montreal right-back Alistair Johnston, who has just finished his World Cup campaign with Canada.
Sky Sports News understands the Scottish champions will pay an initial fee in the region of £3.5m for the 24-year-old, as they continue their work ahead of the January transfer window.
After announcing the news, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou said: "I'm delighted. He's someone we identified pretty early on as somebody we think can add to our club
"He's had an interesting career path where he's had to work very hard to get to where he is, and we're very happy to conclude the deal and knowing he was going to the World Cup, I think he performed well there as well.
"He's really keen to come across and take the next step in his career, and I think he'll be a great fit in our dressing-room, and he'll definitely add something to our football as well.
"He's predominantly played on the right side of defence, at centre-back or right-back. He's very good technically, very good going forward and also a really strong competitor and he doesn't mind the physical aspects of the game, and as I said, I think he'll add something to our club."
Johnston, who featured in all three of Canada's matches in Qatar, was asked at a media conference about being linked to Celtic.
"Look, is is obviously something that I think every footballer is excited by," he said. "I think it's one of the most passionate fan bases in the world. It's a club that even people who don't follow football know who it is.
"So yeah, just getting linked with them - my phone's been blowing up, literally broke my phone actually."
Current first-choice right-back, Josip Juranovic, could leave Celtic in January after talks over a new deal broke down.
It's understood talks will resume when the 27-year-old, who is under contract until 2026, returns from Qatar with Croatia having qualified for the last 16 of the competition.
Sky Sports News understands talks have also stalled on a new contract for Giorgos Giakoumakis.
The Greece striker, who is also under contract for another three-and-a-half years, could also leave in the transfer window if an improved deal cannot be agreed.
Postecoglou said: "Right now all I see is the players here training and committed to us as a football club and that's all that concerns me.
"In terms of their contracts, they're got representatives and they'll deal with the club. If there are any issues they'll come across my desk but, for me, they are more in the background.
"What's important for me is what I see every day. If what I see I'm happy with, then all good. If I'm not then I'll deal with it then.
Giakoumakis was the Scottish Premiership's joint-top scorer last season with 13 goals in 21 appearances.
Postecoglou has vowed to be "aggressive" in the transfer market next month and insisted he was prepared for potential departures.
The club have already confirmed that Vissel Kobe centre-back Yuki Kobayashi has agreed a five-year deal and will officially join in January.
The 22-year-old has already joined up with his new teammates after the J-League season ended.
He becomes the fifth Japanese player to join Postecoglou's side following Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi to Glasgow.