Frank McAvennie has tipped Celtic to try and sign the “absolutely superb” Mohamed Elyounoussi on a permanent deal in 2021.

The former Hoops and St Mirren striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, heaped praise on the 26-year-old for his response to “phone-gate” last week.

Elyounoussi was widely criticised after he was caught on his phone during Celtic’s 4-1 Europa League humiliation at the hands of Sparta Prague last week.

The winger, on loan from Southampton, responded with a hat-trick on Sunday to take his season’s tally to 10 goals and four assists in 18 appearances.

This site revealed on Tuesday that it will cost the Hoops between £8-10million to sign the Norway international permanently in January.

When asked by Football Insider if Elyounoussi has done enough to persuade the club to sign him permanently, McAvennie said: “There is no doubting that he is a fantastic player.

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“He is one of the new breeds of winger. He does not go by players like the great winger of old because he cuts in.

“He got caught on his phone up here, ‘phone-gate’ they called it but do you know what? I have been so impressed with the boy.

“Elyounoussi put his hands up and accepted his punishment from the manager and the captain. He spoke to the captain [Scott Brown] and Neil and confronted it. He did not huff which is refreshing to see.

“At the weekend he was absolutely superb and long may it continue.

“I think they will try and sign him permanently next year. He will know by Christmas where his future lies.” 

In other Celtic news, Noel Whelan has told Football Insider that ‘Neil Lennon was right’ after big Shane Duffy development.