CHRISTIE CONTRACT TALKS ‘POSITIVE’

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RYAN CHRISTIE is expected to commit his long-term future to Celtic this week.  – according to his dad.

The rejuvenated midfielder, who has sparkled in the two recent encounters against Hearts as well as dazzling in Dundee a week ago, is out of contract at the end of the season.

However, boss Brendan Rodgers has gone on record as stating he wants the Highlander to extend his stay at the champions.

And father Charlie, who was part of Billy McNeill’s squad in the late eighties, admitted: “The talks about a new contract have been positive.

“All things being well, it will be done soon. I think the manager is going to speak to Ryan one-to-one this week.

“Ryan’s surrounded by top quality players. He loves it at Celtic.

“He’s been given a chance by Brendan Rodgers and he’s responded. That was very important.

“Brendan’s spoken about the need for a big-game personality, that bit of gallusness, puffing your chest out and grabbing a game by the scruff of the neck.

“Ryan did that as a sub in the Betfred Cup semi-final against Hearts. The fans are now seeing a lot more in him than maybe they did at first.

“Other clubs are interested, but Celtic are his first choice, no question.”

HIGH FIVES…Ryan Christie thumps the ball beyond Dundee keeper Jack Hamilton in the 5-0 win last week.

Christie, who spent 18 months “toughening up” on loan at Aberdeen, joined the Parkhead side in a bargain £500,000 switch from Inverness Caley Thistle in August 2015  and was loaned straight back to John Hughes’ team.

However, he has looked a different player after being handed his opportunity by Rodgers in this campaign.

He helped turn around the Betfred League Cup semi-final against Craig Levein’s side at Murrayfield when he replaced the injured Olivier Ntcham at half-time.

The 23-year-old Scotland international capped a superb performance with the killer third goal in the 3-0 victory and he continued that form with a start at Dens Park where he netted the fifth in the 5-0 rout.

And there was no stopping Christie in another five-star performance against Hearts at the weekend when he whipped in a late penalty-kick to bring down the curtain on another 5-0 triumph.

Now it looks as though the player will be rewarded with a bumper new deal.

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