Celtic's Josip Juranovic gives Anthony Ralston verdict as he fires 'no friends on the field' warning to Rangers compatriot

New Celtic signing Josip Juranovic has revealed how he was given a warm Parkhead welcome by the teammate he will be trying to oust from the side.

New Celtic signing Josip Juranovic during his unveiling at Parkhead
New Celtic signing Josip Juranovic during his unveiling at Parkhead

The Croatian international joined Celtic last week in a £2.6m transfer from Legia Warsaw as Ange Postecoglou bolstered his options at right-back, the position currently held by Anthony Ralston.

The 22-year-old Scot has played every minute of every match under the former Australia coach this season, and his all-action performances have earned praise from his boss and fans alike.

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Juranovic was ineligible for Thursday's Europa League second leg against AZ Alkmaar but will be be available to make his debut against Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday.

To do so he will need to displace the in-form Ralston, but the new arrival believes the competition can benefit both players.

“I think that I can help him and he can help me," Juranovic said. "I know that he is young, but I am also young too. I am just 26 years old.

“So I look forward to playing with him because he is a great man as well.

“As soon as I came here to Celtic, he started to speak with me and greet me. That was really good of him to do that.”

Should Juranovic feature against the Gers he could come up directly against his Croatia teammate Borna Barisic, the Rangers left-back, on the same flank.

“On the field, I do not have friends. I’m sure he thinks the same thing," he said. “In the Croatia squad when all of us are together, we are like a family. But, when you are not in the national team, we are not family.

“I’m looking forward to it very much because I am here to play and not to have my holidays. I have been waiting for this moment to play in one of the matches and the most important thing is to win."

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Juranovic is looking forward to his first taste of the Old Firm atmosphere after experiencing powderkeg derbies in Croatia and Poland.

“I had it in Croatia with Dinamo against Hajduk Split and also in Poland with Legia, where I had big derbies against teams like Lech Poznan," he said.

“I really like these games because every bit of it is tough and you have to be concentrated every second of the game to make sure you do not make any mistakes."

While no Celtic fans permitted to attend Ibrox this weekend, Juranovic will have to wait for his first glimpse of his new supporters.

“I am also sorry about that because I wanted to feel that atmosphere of the game," he added.

“But when I come back to Celtic after the international break, I will play in front of our supporters and I will hear everything.”

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