Celtic may be forced to sell Ryan Christie this summer so he doesn’t leave for free in January. 

That’s according to former Scotland boss Alex McLeish, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Christie’s future.

Christie hasn’t signed a new deal with Celtic after this site revealed in February that the club wanted to offer their player improved terms.

One of the reasons behind Celtic’s desire to offer Christie a new deal was interest from Premier League clubs.

Last week, the Mail on Sunday reported that Christie’s current deal expires in January, meaning he is free to speak to foreign clubs this summer.

McLeish insists Celtic will not want to lose Christie on a pre-contract agreement, which could lead to a sale this summer.

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“I keep saying that it’s different now,” McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.

“Years ago, you couldn’t move at times, even when your contract was up. The clubs could still dictate transfer fees. 

“You just couldn’t get away. These days the players can just see out their contract and go. 

“If that’s the case [with Christie] they’ll have to think about trying to get a fee for him now.”

Celtic

Christie, 26, is still a key player for Celtic and has made 44 appearances for the club in all competitions this season.

He has chipped in with seven goals and 14 assists with his last strike coming in the 6-0 win over Livingston last month.

In other news, Frank McAvennie is gutted one Celtic player could quit the club this summer.