Celtic are reported to be in pole position to sign Alastair Johnston from MLS club CF Montreal.
The 22-year-old made his World Cup debut yesterday in Canada’s 1-0 defeat from Belgium and is bound to attract further attention in Qatar.
Multiple sources! Alistair Johnston is closing in on a move to Scottish giants #CelticFC. A deal is now advanced. The #CanMNT star also has a UK passport. He is under contract at #CFMTL until 2023 with 2 option years. He is currently starring at the World Cup. ???? pic.twitter.com/nLtQTrxYbY
— Manuel Veth (@ManuelVeth) November 24, 2022
With the most Scottish of names it is no surprise that Johnston holds a British passport as well as Irish and Canadian citizenship as Manuel Veth of Transfermarkt explains:
Johnston has recently been linked with a move to Italian side Bologna, a club also owned by the Saputo family, who owns the Major League Soccer club in Montréal. But Celtic are now leading the race, and a deal between the player and the MLS club has already been formally agreed upon. A move to Scotland is straightforward for Johnston as he holds a UK passport on top of his Irish and Canadian citizenship.
Johnston’s rise in recent years, in fact, has been phenomenal. Drafted out of college by Nashville SC in 2020, Johnston was traded to Montréal for around €900,000 in General Allocation Money (GAM) ahead of the 2022 season. At Montréal, Johnston has managed four goals and four assists in 39 games across all competitions in 2022.
Any deal seems certain to hinge on whether or not Josip Juranovic leaves Celtic in January.
Like Johnston he is currently playing in the World Cup Finals in Qatar with reports on and off since June of interest from clubs ranging from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid.
How realistic that interest is will soon be determined but yesterday’s signing of Yuki Kobayaski demonstrates that Ange Postecoglou is on the front foot with transfer activities.