Celtic tell Galatasaray to pay £1.5m for Stefan Johansen

Stefan Johansen is wanted by Turkish side Galatasaray. Picture: Gordon Fraser
Stefan Johansen is wanted by Turkish side Galatasaray. Picture: Gordon Fraser
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Stefan Johansen is poised to leave Celtic and join Turkish side Galatasaray after failing to agree a new contract with the Scottish champions.

The Norwegian international midfielder, who was PFA Scotland Player of the Year in 2015, has one season remaining on his current deal with Celtic.

Negotiations had been ongoing for much of last season over an extension but Johansen now appears on the verge of moving on.

Reports in the Turkish media claim Galatasaray have agreed a fee of around £1.1 million for the 25-year-old. But Celtic are understood to be seeking closer to £1.5 million for Johansen, having paid £2 million when they signed him from Stromsgodset in January 2014.

A protege of former Celtic manager Ronny Deila, Johansen last season struggled to replicate the form which earned him plaudits during his first full campaign with the club.

With Celtic’s first team squad having a surfeit of midfield options, new manager Brendan Rodgers can afford to sanction the departure of Johansen.

The player is currently with Celtic at their pre-season training camp in Slovenia but Turkish media sources indicate Galatasaray expect him to arrive in Istanbul later this week to conclude a deal.

Johansen, whose new team-mates would include his Norwegian international team-mate Martin Linnes and veteran German striker Lukas Podolski, will miss out on European football this season if he joins Galatasaray.

Turkish Cup winners last season, they have been banned from Europe for a year by Uefa for breaching financial regulations.

Meanwhile, Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko has given an insight into Rodgers’ coaching methods. The Danish centre-back said the new manager’s approach is more disciplined and aggressive than his predecessor’s.

“It’s a new way of coaching I haven’t been used to but it’s really something I like and I’m looking forward to getting to know it even better,” Sviatchenko told the Celtic website. “It’s how I want to play football and it’s just about getting that fitness so we can play that way.

“It’s more disciplined and much more aggressive and higher in the pitch and it’s all about the individual skills as well.

“The manager talks about the players needing to flourish and do their thing in the last third, while the defensive players have their focus on getting the ball as quickly as possible.”

Celtic face Slovenian champions Olimpija Ljubljana this evening then round off their tour with a game against NK Maribor on Saturday.