Celtic sign midfielder Ryan Christie from Inverness
NEW Celtic signing Ryan Christie will have some unfinished family business when he eventually arrives at Parkhead from Inverness.
The 20-year-old midfielder, a boyhood Hoops fan, signed a four-year contract with the Scottish champions - a fee of £500,000 has been widely reported - but will return to the Highland club on loan for a season.
Celtic have the option of him returning in January, an option which the club are likely to exercise.
And when the Scotland Under-21 international does come down he will be following in the footsteps of his father, Charlie Christie.
He made the move from Highland club Inverness Thistle to the east end of Glasgow in 1987 but failed to make the grade before returning north two years later, and he is now Caley Thistle’s head of youth after a long spell as player and then manager.
Christie junior smiled and gave a nod to his father when asked about the prospect of establishing himself at Parkhead, saying: “That is the plan - to get one over on him.
“To be fair, I have said to him and many of my friends that Celtic has been my dream club, that is my dream move since I was a young boy.
“As soon as it came up I was jumping to get the chance to sign for them.
“My dad spoke about how Celtic will improve me as a player. The facilities are the best in Scotland and that will go a long way to improving me.
“I have been to many games here over the years, quite a lot of European nights and the last one was the Barcelona game in 2012 (Celtic won 2-1), which was some night to say the least.
“That is probably the best game I’ve ever been to, so to come here and get the chance to play is incredible.
“It is maybe a bit corny to say a dream come true but that’s what it certainly feels like.”
Christie will return to Inverness after Scotland Under-21 duty where he is hoping the fans, if not his team-mates, go easy on him.
He said: “There is obviously going to be a bit of stick in the changing room in the first couple of weeks.
“But the fans have been great to me. They will have their own opinions on the move but I have nothing negative to say about the fans and hopefully they will return the favour.
“I have plenty of targets to meet with Inverness in the short term.
“It is up to Celtic if they want to bring me down in January, I am more than happy with that.
“That is why I signed for Celtic. I want to play as many games as I can for them, so as soon as I get the chance I am willing to go.”