Celtic at 'advanced' stage of signing £800k World Cup star - and he could be Josip Juranovic replacement

Celtic are considering a move for Canada's impressive defender Alistair Johnston – and he could act as a replacement for Josip Juranovic.

The 24-year-old’s performance in his country’s World Cup opener against Belgium was widely praised. He started on the right-side of the back three, helping contain the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne as Canada fell to an undeserved 1-0 defeat.

According to reports, Celtic are at an advanced stage of getting a deal over the line for Johnston who moved to Montreal FC at the start of the MLS campaign for around £800,000. He penned a deal until the end of December 2023 with a two-year option.

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A versatile defender, Johnston can play right-back, centre-back and wing-back where he has played for Montreal this year. He is a holder of a UK passport and his arrival could act as the catalyst for the club to sell Josip Juranovic. The Croatian started for his country in their World Cup opener, a 0-0 draw with Morocco. It is understood Celtic would listen to offers for the right-back after the tournament. He has a contract at Celtic until 2026 but had reported interest from around Europe in the summer.

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Juranovic and Johnston will come up against one another on Sunday afternoon when Croatia meet Canada in the second World Cup group game in Doha.

Celtic have already added to their squad ahead of the January transfer market opening with the signing of Yuki Kobayashi. The Japanese centre-back will join up with the club next month and then be able to play from January 1.

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Celtic target Alistair Johnston up against Eden Hazard. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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