NEIL LENNON has revealed “talks are ongoing” with Ryan Christie, but admitted the midfielder has said he “would like a different challenge”.
The Scotland international playmaker was one of the few who bordered on a passmark from the side that drew 2-2 with Hibs at Easter Road yesterday.
The champions stumbled through a blunder-strewn performance against the Edinburgh outfit who were gift-wrapped two goals by a dithering defence who have now conceded 17 times in the past eight games with only one shut-out.
Christie, 25, is out of contract in June 2022 and insists he is relaxed about his current situation, but the Highlander attracted attention by performing in all of his nation’s last three internationals and he took centre stage with an excellent goal in the 1-1 draw with Serbia that led to the penalty-kick shoot-out success that earned the country a place in next summer’s Euro Championships, the Scots’ first finals since the World Cup in France in 1998.
The skilful operator has won 14 caps for his nation and his strike in Belgrade was his fourth at international level – just one adrift of his tally for the champions this season.
The Hoops hierarchy are eager for the player to commit his long-term future and Lennon, speaking to the Sunday Mail, 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.”