The Celtic Way reporter Anthony Haggerty has claimed Ryan Christie would only join Southampton if his decision is financially driven.
Christie’s Celtic contract expires at the end of the year and Saints are hoping to take advantage by either plucking him from the Scottish Premiership giants for free in January or paying a cut-price fee before the window closes next week.
Uncertainty over Christie’s future has not had an effect on the winger’s performances, with him scoring in the Bhoys’ Europa League win over Jablonec and notching a hat-trick of assists in the 6-0 Scottish Premiership rout of Dundee.
Would Christie improve Southampton?
Burnley have been long-term admirers of the 26-year-old, while Italian side Sampdoria and French duo Marseille and Nice have also been keeping tabs on the situation throughout the window.
Christie could sign a pre-contract agreement that would allow him to make a move in January for free, but Celtic are still hoping to negotiate a new deal.
Haggerty thinks Christie would only be using Southampton as a stepping stone if he opts for a switch to St Mary’s.
He said: “He would go to Southampton for one reason and one reason only – that’s cash. He would want to play against the bigger and better clubs in England and then hopefully get a move to a top-six club.
“If Ryan Christie decides to go to Southampton, then he’s not thinking about Southampton per se but thinking about two or three years’ time.
“He’ll be thinking about that hop, skip and jump which a lot of players who have left Celtic have done when they’ve gone to England.”
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