Losing Ryan Christie on a free transfer would be a “bitter blow” for Celtic, according to Alex McLeish.

The former Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Hoops would “do everything” to get him tied down to a new contract.

As reported by the Mail on Sunday and relayed by the Daily Record, Christie’s current terms are actually set to expire at the end of the year, rather than next summer.

Celtic

The surprise revelation means the 26-year-old will be able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs this summer.

He signed his last contract extension back in November 2018.

Christie has scored seven goals and contributed 14 assists in 43 appearances this season.

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McLeish admitted losing the £10million-valued ace on a free would be a kick in the teeth for Celtic.

As such, he tipped the Bhoys to do whatever they can to tie him down.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “That would be a very bitter blow for Celtic to lose a player of his ability.

“The level that he’s risen to over the last couple of years, see him walking out of the door, oof. It happens and they won’t be the first club it’s happened to.

“However, I think Celtic will do everything to try and keep him.

“He’s just been outstanding. Maybe it’s gone a wee bit pear-shaped this season for the whole club and therefore everybody’s form has suffered a little bit.

“These are other mental issues he will overcome. I’m sure he’s got the mentality for it. He’s a very, very good player.” 

In other news, Celtic have been tipped to embark on a summer spending spree after a £3.5million deal is agreed.