CELTIC have kicked off contract negotiations with Ryan Christie to keep the midfielder at the champions until 2023 at least.

The 25-year-old Scotland international, who was signed by Ronny Deila from Inverness Caley Thistle for £500,000 in 2015, is out of contract in two years’ time.

Neil Lennon is determined to keep the goalscoring playmaker, who netted 19 last season before the premature conclusion to the campaign, and negotiations have begun with the player and his representatives.

Meanwhile, Christie insists the nine-in-a-row title kings’ pre-season trip to France will provide the perfect preparation for their attempt to make history with a tenth successive crown.

The Hoops are due to play Nice on Thursday, Lyon on Friday and Paris Saint-Germain a week today as they warm up for a crucial campaign.

Christie told the club website: “These games are definitely going to be tough.

“But that’s the level we see ourselves as a club and a team so these games will be great for us.

“It’s good to test yourself against the best at every chance you get. The friendlies will be the first proper games for us and we’ll take a lot out of those games.

“We’re not going in against a lower league team or anything like that.

“The opposition we’ll be facing are of a very high level and that’ll definitely help get us back into match fitness quicker.”

Lennon’s side will commence their record-breaking title bid against Hamilton Accies at Parkhead on Sunday, August 2 and Chritie added: “Since I’ve been here, motivation has been constant and we rarely look at any other factors outside of what we can do ourselves.

“The only thing we can really influence is our performances and the results.

“As long as we take care of that, then everything else will be out of our control.”

Click Here for Comments >

About Author