By Alex McLeish

12th Nov, 2020 | 5:00pm

McLeish Exclusive: Celtic tipped to sign 26-yr-old for club-record fee in January

Alex McLeish has claimed Celtic have the cash to meet Southampton’s asking price for Mohamed Elyounoussi in January.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Russell Edge, the former Scotland and Rangers manager claimed the Hoops will be weighing up a permanent move for their on-loan attacking star.

But Celtic chiefs will want to see his impressive form continue for a few more months before lodging a potential club-record January bid for Elyounoussi.

He scored a hat-trick last Sunday to make it 11 goals and four assists in his 19 appearances across all competitions this term.

Football Insider revealed earlier this week that Celtic will need to pay up to £10m to sign the Southampton loanee permanently in January.

That would break the £9million club transfer record paid to sign Odsonne Edouard from Paris Saint-Germain in July 2018.

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Asked if he thought Celtic would try for a permanent deal in January, McLeish told Football Insider: They would probably want to see more of what he did last week.

“You know, £8-9million is nothing in Premier League in England.

“In Scotland it’s quite substantial but when you see figures being bandied about in the newspapers about the money Celtic have spent on other players that are in the squad, then you think: ‘Well, Celtic have got the collateral to do that.

“So, you would think that they would certainly have it but I’m sure they would want to get a lot more out of Elyounoussi before they made a commitment such as that.”

Elyounoussi ended his first loan season at Celtic in the SPFL team of the year despite missing months of the campaign with a foot injury even before the lockdown led to a premature halt.

He joined Southampton for £16million in the summer of 2018 from Basel but struggled to make an impression in his first season before being loaned out to Glasgow a year later.

In other news, £8m+ Celtic signing lined up after big January reveal.