Celtic news: McLeish reacts to potential Christie-Nice deal

Celtic attacker Ryan Christie will be flattered by reported interest from OGC Nice, according to Alex McLeish.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former cotland manager said the French side will be splashing the cash after a recent takeover to compete with the “big guns”.

The Sun report that Christie is Nice’s top transfer target after a recent trip to watch him play for the Hoops.

The Ligue 1 side, who are managed by Arsenal legend Patrick Vieria, value the attacking midfielder at £10million but are hopeful of a cut-price deal.

Asked by Football Insider whether he could see Christie moving to France, McLeish said: “I know Ryan personally but not knowing how he feels about the whole thing.

“I know his Dad played for Celtic as well for a wee while and Ryan Christie has been an outstanding performer over the last year or so.

“We went to South America to play Peru and he got knocked about a wee bit and then all of sudden I’ve seen him come back and he’s fending off the big guys.

“He’d been in the gym, it’s a guy who’s determined to make himself better, which he has done over this past year.

“He was one of the outstanding performers against Israel last year when Forrest scored his hattrick.

“That’s when I thought ‘this guy is on a different level now’.

“The thought of going abroad to a club that is willing to spend money and Nice are a team that have been taken over by Ineos, one of the biggest companies in the world.

“I know they have to spend within their means they can still start to try and compete with the big guns in France.

“Ryan will be flattered by that but I think in the meantime he’ll be quite happy at Celtic, that’s my feeling.”

In other news, Celtic have the “next Virgil van Dijk” on their hands according to a top pundit.