CELTIC target Alistair Johnston revealed he was greatly impressed by Josip Juranovic during Canada’s 4-1 loss to Croatia that sealed their World Cup exit at the weekend.
Ironically, the in-demand right-back was getting a close look at the player whose position he is likely to take at the champions.
It looks increasingly as though Juranovic, who cost £2.5million when he joined from Legia Warsaw in August last year, will be on his way as soon as the January transfer window opens for business.
The 27-year-old defender has kncoked back enhanced terms on a contract extension and it now appears only a matter of time before his move elsewhere is rubber-stamped.
RIGHT BACK TO THE FUTURE…Alistair Johnston celebrates a Canada win before the World Cup Finals.
Johnston, three years his junior, and his rival in Qatar embraced at the final whistle that saw the Canadians’ final game against Morocco on Thursday meaningless as far as qualification is concerned, but, of course, there is always pride at stake.
The Vancouver-born £3.5million-rated back-four operator said: “Josip is a really good player. I had a little chat with him after the game and he is a good lad.
“He played an unbelievable game for Croatia and he’s quick, isn’t he? He is a solid player and it’s easy to see why Celtic fans love him.
“He brought the Celtic situation up a little bit to me, but that’s a conversation I can hopefully have with him in a little more detail in the future.
“For now, I just wish him and Croatia all the best for the rest of the World Cup.”
A BIG HAND…Alistair Johnston applauds his CF Montreal fans.
Despite being under contract until 2026, Juranovic, who has been linked with Chelsea, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, will be on his way – if the price is right.
Asked for an update on his situation, Johnston, speaking to the Daily Mail, added: “I just have to wait until the World Cup finishes, then see what happens.
“At this moment, I am just so focused on the national team.
“The World Cup is an amazing experience and I want to savour every minute and give my all. Whatever happens after that will happen.”