Celtic questioned over 'surprising' decision not to compete for Rangers signing

Celtic’s apparent lack of interest in competing with Rangers for the signing of John Souttar was “surprising”, according to one of his current Hearts teammates.

Gary Mackay-Steven, who played for Celtic himself between 2015 and 2017, has questioned why the Scotland defender was not on his former club’s radar after Rangers completed a pre-contract deal for the 25-year-old ahead of several interested clubs in England.

When asked why Celtic stayed out of the running in the race to sign Souttar, Mackay-Steven told Open Goal: "I'm not sure, it's surprising.

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"I know Celtic have the boy [Stephen] Welsh, who has done really well. They've signed Starfelt and a few centre halves.

Hearts defender John Souttar has signed a pre-contract with Rangers. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

"They've obviously spent money on bringing all the Japanese boys from the league that the manager used to be in.

"Maybe that was their main focus and he just wasn't their top choice.

"Maybe it's just the one that got away, I don't know but he's a top, top player."

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