Hibs missed out on the signing of Ryan Christie from Celtic reveals Neil Lennon

Neil Lennon wanted Ryan Christie at Easter Road. Picture: SNS
Neil Lennon wanted Ryan Christie at Easter Road. Picture: SNS
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Celtic boss Neil Lennon has revealed that he tried to sign Ryan Christie for Hibs when he was the Easter Road boss.

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Twelve months ago, when the Scottish champions were chasing then Hibees midfielder John McGinn, the Northern Irishman was keen to bring Christie to Leith as part of the deal.

Despite Celtic making a mess of their pursuit of McGinn, who has been linked with a huge move to Manchester United, Lennon has admitted he is relieved the current Parkhead star stayed put.

Hibs' interest came at a time when Christie was unsure of his future having spent time on loan at Aberdeen who were also hopeful of bringing the player back to Pittodrie.

“I actually wanted Ryan at Hibs as part of the McGinn deal if it happened," Lennon said. "I’d been impressed with him when he was on loan at Aberdeen.

“Thankfully it didn’t happen, he took his chance when it came along and hasn’t looked back.

“Maybe it was a sliding doors moment but he’s made the most of it. That’s the key. He works hard behind the scenes and he’s talented, too. He makes us a better team."

Lennon noted the player's positioning under former Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers and Derek McInnes at Aberdeen, but he is keen to get him into more attacking positions.

“We looked at a lot of footage of him this time last year when I was at Hibs," he said. "We knew of his capabilities.

“A lot of the time, Brendan Rodgers or Derek McInnes would play him in a three in midfield.

“I like to see him a little bit more advanced in the ten role. He can do attacking midfield no problem as well.

“There’s that string to his bow where he can play a number of positions. I obviously want him in attacking areas because I think he can open up defences. I think he’s got goals in him too.”