FORMER Celtic striker Chris Sutton reckons there will be a time for top talent such as Josip Juranovic to leave the champions.

However, the one-time fans’ favourite insists now is not the moment for his old club to be allowing key players to move on.

The 26-year-old Croatian full-back, who arrived in a £2.5million switch from Legia Warsaw in August last year and is under contract until 2026, has been linked with unnamed English top-flight clubs after his impressive debut campaign at Parkhead as part of Ange Postecoglou’s revolution.

However, Sutton agrees with CQN‘s summing-up of the situation as we reported earlier this week. We stated the club would not be interested in allowing the dependable defensive ace to move on at the moment.

AT THE DOUBLE…Josip Juranovic joins in Daizen Maeda’s goal celebration.

No club can expect a bargain from the Hoops and Kieran Tierney’s £25million record fee from Arsenal in the summer of 2019 could be equalled or surpassed if any of the current pool of players becomes a genuine target of interest elsewhere.

The former England international forward said: “Ange Postecoglou is trying to build things up. Adding blocks. Bit by exciting bit. He doesn’t need important bricks being taken out of the structure.

“And I’m pretty adamant Celtic’s hierarchy will be thinking the same way. I’ve seen chat around Josip Juranovic’s immediate future doing the rounds this week. Talk of teams watching him.

“Listen, Juranovic will have a right time to leave Celtic. So will talented young boys such as Liel Abada.

“Same goes for the club. They will always have an optimum time to sell their gems. But that time is most certainly NOT now.

PICK IT OUT…Josip Juranovic sends a cheeky Panenka penalty-kick sailing into the Bayer Leverkusen net.

“In any case, for players such as Juranovic, it wouldn’t make any sense. Clubs in the major leagues, England included, will be looking at the Celtic right-back. That’s just normal practice. Croatia, heading to the World Cup, has a strong reputation for producing top-class players with Luka Modric leading the way in recent times.

“When you can hold down a spot in their national team as Juranovic does, you are going to attract interest. Put it this way, any club who isn’t looking doesn’t have a recruitment set-up worth its salt.

“This goes for all of the new guys that Postecoglou introduced and integrated into Celtic who made a mark. Juranovic looks to be in a superb position in terms of his career. Having just moved from Legia Warsaw less than a year ago, he’s got the fans’ backing and he’s settled brilliantly into the squad.”

Sutton, speaking to the Daily Record, continued: “Juranovic has performed well, collected two winners’ medals already and he seems content at his work.

SILVER SMILES…Josip Juranovic and skipper Callum McGregor with the newly-won Premiership title after the landslide 6-0 win over Motherwell at Parkhead last month.

“Now, let’s be clear, I don’t know the guy at all. Never met him. But everything you hear about him says he’s strong within the group and a popular one amongst the squad.

“You can see his acts on the pitch. When Daizen Maeda scores a goal, he joins him and copies the Japanese’s goal celebration. When Giorgos Giakoumakis was on a hat-trick against Ross County in March, Celtic got a penalty and Juranovic, the normal taker, chucked the Greek the ball to complete his treble. It’s just those little things which say a lot.

“Then, when you couple that with the type of performances that he had against Rangers at home in the 3-0 win and the Panenka penalty he scored in Leverkusen, it shows the quality of player as well as character.

“If someone chaps the door for him, Celtic could ask for in excess of £15million. Which would be some profit on the fifth of what they paid 10 months ago. But my basic point is: Where would be the point of that right now? For either party? Celtic won’t let this guy leave. Why would you?

“No matter what you think he is valued at right this minute, you have someone who is about to walk onto the group stage of the Champions League.

THE WAY AHEAD…Liel Abada celebrates after opening the scoring in the 4-0 win over Motherwell at Fir Park last season. Giorgos Giakoumakis is about to add his congratulations.

“It’s a no-lose. If Juranovic plays against the best players in Europe and Celtic take a couple of hidings, he won’t get blamed. No individual will. It’ll just be seen as down to the quality of the opposition.

“The flip side is that, if Juranovic has a stormer against a Vinicius Junior or a Kylian Mbappe and his team wins a game against Real Madrid or a PSG, his value will double on the spot.

“Same goes for Abada if he tortures a Barcelona full-back. Or if Jota does it on the other wing against Chelsea. Or Kyogo Furuhashi destroys Virgil van Dijk and Celtic beat Liverpool.

“And calm down, I’m not saying those things are going to happen, I’m just using loose examples. The point is these guys can send their value rocketing by performing in the Champions League. Celtic didn’t get £18million out of Lyon because Moussa Dembele scored a hat-trick against Inverness.

“They got it because he scored two against Manchester City in a pulsating Champions League game. This is where real reputations are made.”

THREE AND EASY…Moussa Dembele celebrates his hat-trick in his Glasgow derby debut in September 2016.

Sutton added: “If Juranovic is part of a successful Champions League campaign, Celtic could be reaching their Kieran Tierney levels of asking price by January.

“That also has to be the thought process for the player. He’s in a stable position going into a very exciting six months.

“Why would he even think of leaving? For the same reasons that Celtic could benefit, Juranovic could pick his club if he excels from now until the end of December.

“Celtic had a successful model which bought talent, made it better and sold for a profit. The shelf life for the likes of van Dijk and Dembele was two years. They veered away from that with the likes of Odsonne Edouard and Kristoffer Ajer, but that was just because of Ten in a Row.

“To make it work, they have to let guys go at the right time. It’s been proven that’s not after one season, Which means for Postecoglou’s signings, that’s not now. The manager is working to add to what he’s got. Not to have to replace any key men.

“Which is why I’m fairly convinced Celtic won’t be selling anyone key to their plans. After all, at this precise time, what would be the sense?”

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