By Harry Sykes
Celtic wrapped up a new contract for teenager attacker Michael Johnston in just seven days, it has been revealed by the club’s academy chief.
The Scottish champions announced on Saturday that they had secured the 18-year-old to a quickfire new deal within minutes of making his competitive debut for the club.
Johnston, who is predominantly a left-winger, played 57 minutes of Celtic’s 4-1 demolition of fourth-placed St Johnstone on Saturday.
On a memorable day for the teenager, he laid on one of the goals to notch his first senior assist and also penned a three-year contract that ties him to the club until 2020.
Celtic head of youth Chris McCart explained that academy product Johnston, who joined the Scottish giants at the age of nine, did not hesitate in committing to a long-term deal.
“We only really started about extending his contract a week ago so it’s a credit to him and his family that we were able to do it so quickly,” McCart told the official Celtic website.
“His agents Lee Robinson and Lee Naylor came in and they were very good to deal with along with Michael, so it was very quickly put together, and the timing couldn’t have been better with him making his competitive debut and signing a new three-year contract at the same time.”
Johnstone is regarded as a rising star of Scottish football after making impressive progress in Celtic’s youth set-up in recent seasons.
The lifelong Celtic fan, who has been capped four times by Scotland at Under-19 level, has said his target at the start of the season was to force his way into the first team.
Competition for places has been intense but manager Brendan Rodgers gave Johnston his chance on Saturday as Celtic extended their unbeaten domestic record to 43 matches.
In other Celtic transfer news, Caixinha has made emphatic decisions on four players ahead of the summer window.