Celtic attacker Ryan Christie reportedly being watched by Southampton
English Premier League side Southampton will be closely monitoring Ryan Christie at Euro 2020, according to the Scottish Sun.
Christie has been called up for Scotland duty this summer after Steve Clarke’s side managed to heroically qualify for the competition back in November. The attacking-midfielder played a key role in qualifying despite a generally poor campaign at Celtic.
The former Inverness man has underperformed badly at Celtic Park. Yet even then he’s managed to bag seven goals and 15 assists in all competitions [Transfermarkt]. The Sun reports that Christie is out of contract at the end of 2020 of course. That could see clubs come forward with an interest given they’ll be sniffing a cheap deal.
The report states that Southampton will use Euro 2020 to keep tabs on how he performs. Scotland are in action against the Czech Republic, England, and Croatia in the group stages.
This follows on from speculation surrounding Christie’s future at the start of the month. The Daily Mail had reported that both Burnley and Norwich City are also keen on Christie [print edition, 04/05, back page].
Ryan Christie to Southampton would be a generous move for him
There’s something off about Christie having yet to have penned a new contract. If he viewed his long-term future at Celtic Park then he could’ve easily had his future sorted out long ago. Remember, Celtic were looking to tie him down as far back as October [Daily Record].
Granted, his stock was greater then. After a fine 2019/20 campaign, Christie was one of the players who suffered the steepest of declines in performance levels. Whilst his stats still look decent enough, he’s been a constant source of frustration. So many attacking opportunities have broken down with Christie this season. So many opportunities to hurt the opposition which have been wasted.
So much so that many supporters simply want to see the back of him. Getting Ryan off the wage bill would be a fine symbol of the change coming to Celtic Park next season. And, in fairness, Celtic should be using the summer to get any players uncommitted to the football club out the door.
Christie’s continued refusal to sign a new contract shows you where his mind is at. He wants to keep his options open, and it looks as though he can now use Euro 2020 as a platform to turn interest into bids.
The prospect of a move to St Mary’s will most likely appeal to him too. They’ve given top talents such as Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster, Virgil van Dijk, and more recently Stuart Armstrong the opportunity to dazzle. The likes of Wanyama and van Dijk even managed to secure moves to one of the top six clubs too.
It’s a better move than Christie’s performances this season have deserved. But a positive Euro 2020 display will likely secure him what appears to be his dream move.