Sunderland AFC transfer news: Summer target in line for new Celtic deal, keeper reveals his BIG dilemma

Celtic's Ryan Christie celebrates scoring their third goal against Heart of Midlothian during the Betfred Cup semi final match at BT Murrayfield Stadium.
Celtic's Ryan Christie celebrates scoring their third goal against Heart of Midlothian during the Betfred Cup semi final match at BT Murrayfield Stadium.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers wants to commit Sunderland summer target Ryan Christie to a new deal.

In the closing days of the window Jack Ross was keen to make one final addition to his squad and Christie was identified as a talented young player who felt would add a little more variety to his squad.

Sunderland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.

Sunderland goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.

Christie looked to be out of favour at Celtic as they looked for reinforcements, the 23-year-old having spent the previous season on loan at Aberdeen.

Speaking in the summer, Ross told the Echo: "Ryan is a player that I like, he has good qualities but again it is a balance between what we need in the squad.

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"He is a left footer and we don't have a lot of them in the squad in forward areas.

"He is a player that I am acutely aware of and he fits the kind of bracket in terms of he has played a lot of games for a young man."

As it happened, Celtic endured a disappointing end to the window, selling Moussa Dembele and failing to land a replacement, as a result a door opened for Christie and he has now made 11 appearances this season.

On Sunday, with a cup semi-final against Hearts in the balance, he scored one goal, won a penalty and contributed to another as Celtic ran out 3-0 winners.

Rodgers says he wants to commit Christie to a new deal, his current contract expires next summer.

"Ryan was just sensational. He’s someone that of course we would look to commit to," he said.

“The club have been talking to his representatives but I’m not aware of any movement.

"Ryan is definitely a player that we would love to keep. He is a fantastic player. You saw his contribution."

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Meanwhile, Sunderland No.1 Jon McLaughlin admits he could be left with torn loyalties if he receives another international call-up.

The proud Scot earned a recall to Alex McLeish’s squad for the last round of international fixtures and his form has only improved from there.

In recent weeks he has been nothing short of inspirational in the Sunderland goal, though he is unlikely to depose Craig Gordon or Allan McGregor between the posts for Scotland.

Last time out Sunderland postponed their clash with Blackpool but due to scheduling challenges, Jack Ross is keen to avoid doing so again when Wycombe Wanderers are due to visit in a fortnight’s time.

That could mean playing without the stopper.

Ross, who has never hidden from his desire to manage his country, will understand McLaughlin’s dilemma better than anyone.

The 31-year-old says everyone will work together to ensure the ‘best result’.

"It’s difficult to balance it.

"That is the problem of this division, you don’t get the international breaks off.

"At the end of the day, this [Sunderland] is who pays the wages and this is where your real job is.

"Of course, it is fantastic to be called up for your country, you want to go there and be involved and do what you can.

"If you’re not playing, playing more of a supportive role if you like, and you’re going to be missing key games, then there is a decision to be made there.

"I’ll respect the decision of the Scottish FA and the club.

"You need to have the conversations and make sure everyone gets the best result. Yourself, your country and the club.

"We’ll see what happens with that."