By Frank McAvennie

19th Jul, 2022 | 9:00pm

Celtic backed to sign holding midfielder amid Mikey Johnston exit claim - expert

Frank McAvennie has urged Celtic to sign another holding midfielder before the transfer window shuts.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Hoops striker suggested players like Mikey Johnston be let go to make room on the wage bill but urged Ange Postecoglou to keep hold of Anthony Ralston.

Speaking to the BBC (16 July), Ralston, 23, heaped praised on the “brilliant” Postecoglou for his impact at Celtic Park.

The full-back added that he is grateful for the game time he has received under the Australian manager.

Ralston joined Celtic’s youth set up in 2015 and signed a professional deal in 2018.

He recently signed a new contract extending his stay at Parkhead until 2025.

Click below for exclusive transfer news

When asked if he thought the Scotland international will be a useful player next season, McAvennie told Football Insider: “The way the manager plays, he’s come on leaps and bounds he loves it in midfield.

Players that have been there a while I think will look at Tony Ralston and think, he’s just signed a new contract and he was way out the team.

I still think they need a holding midfield player. Get somebody in and get Mikey [Johnston] off the wage bill. [Ismaila] Soro has gone, [Tom] Rogic has gone, [Nir] Bitton has gone, so there’s places there.

“There’s nothing like having a big squad and having a good squad.

Ralston made 47 appearances for Celtic across all competitions last season.

During that time he scored five goals and provided nine assists.

In other news, a Celtic expert has tipped Mikey Johnston to ‘be a star’ for rival club after manager’s reveal.