ALISTAIR JOHNSTON will reach Paradise via Qatar, Milan and Montreal after sealing his five-year deal.
Celtic’s move for the tenacious and attack-minded Canada right-back has been rubberstamped after MLS outfit CF Montreal accepted £3.5million for their star defender, as CQN forecast six days ago.
Twenty-four-year-old Johnston played for his nation in all three of their World Cup Group F games against Belgium (0-1), Croatia (1-4) and Morocco (1-2) in the soccer showpiece in the Middle East.
HIGH AND MIGHTY…Alistair Johnston rises above Josip Juranovic to head the ball clear in the World Cup clash in Qatar which Croatia beat Canada 4-1.
The all-action man is now having a break in Italy before returning to his homeland to take care of business and then catching up with his new team-mates at the end of next week.
It’s been a whirlwind 12 months for Johnston who joined Montreal from Nashville in an £800,000 switch last December, making 39 appearances and scoring four goals. He also earned his 33rd cap in Qatar.
Manager Ange Postecoglou is clearly delighted with the signing to strengthen his first-team squad and said: “He’s someone we identified pretty early on as somebody we think can add to our club.
“Alistair’s had an interesting career path where he’s had to work very hard to get to where he is. We’re very happy to conclude the deal and, knowing he was going to the World Cup, I think he performed well there, too.”
Postecoglou, speaking to the club website, added: “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.
CRUNCH…Alistair Johnston slides into a tackle to send Belgium rival Lois Openda toppling.
“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.
“As I said, I think he’ll add something to our club.”
Johnston is the champions’ second signing almost a full month ahead of the transfer window reopening after Japanese central defender Yuki Kobayashi also signed a five-year contract to swell the Hoops’ ranks of J-League recruits to five as he joins countrymen Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi in Glasgow.