By support

30th Mar, 2017 | 6:36am

Report: Celtic battle with PL giants for 26-year-old winger ripping up league, £1m January bid rejected

By Matt Farr

Celtic have entered the race for the signature of highly-rated Oxford winger Marvin Johnson this summer, according to a report.

The Scottish Sun claim that the current Scottish Premiership leaders have joined Premier League giants Manchester City and Leicester in hot pursuit of the 26-year-old.

It is also reported that as many as thirty clubs were present to witness Johnson find the back of the net for Oxford during their emphatic 5-1 win over Bury on Tuesday.

Johnson has been ripping it up for the League One outfit this season, contributing six goals and nine assists from 45 appearances in all competitions.

He signed for the English club back in August, having made an impressive start to the campaign with Scottish outfit Motherwell.

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From his nine appearances at Fir Park, Johnson scored four goals and supplied four assists.

But Celtic are looking to tempt the former Motherwell ace in a move back to Scotland’s top tier, as Brendan Rodgers seeks to add quality options to his squad ahead of their inevitable title defence.

The Scottish Sun report that Oxford rejected a £1million bid from a Championship club for Johnson in January.

Rodgers’ side are within just one win of lifting their sixth consecutive Scottish Premiership title, a result which can be achieved with a win over Hearts on Sunday.

However, Celtic will likely have to fork out much more than the paltry £650,000 paid by Oxford in August to land him this summer, with his latest displays seeing his value rocket.

Football Insider verdict

Johnson is a proven performer in the Scottish top flight, and clearly has more than enough quality to succeed at Oxford’s current level, but Celtic represents a much sterner test. However, the Glasgow giants are faced with the loss of star winger Patrick Roberts at the end of the season when his loan deal from Manchester City expires, and Rodgers will be on the look out for a player that can have a similar impact. Johnson could be the man to fill his shoes, but with such vast reported interest in his services, they may face a tough battle for his signature. But he is arguably a better option than current Roberts-alternative, Gary Mackay-Steven, and Rodgers should look into a potential deal.

In other Celtic transfer news, scouts have been deployed as a Premier League giant steps up their interest in this Celtic star (not Dembele).

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