REPORT: Celtic target Canadian defender Alistair Johnston for January swoop?
Could Alistair Johnston be the first Canadian to benefit from the post-World Cup bump?
The Scottish Sun reports that the CF Montréal defender has been linked with a potential transfer to Scottish giants Celtic F.C, in a move that would represent another Canadian talent earn a move overseas – and the first to do so following Canada's first foray at the World Cup in 36 years. Later in the week, Fabrizio Romano confirmed that interest.
Celtic have reached verbal agreement with Montreal to sign Alistair Johnston on permanent deal, now waiting for final details. ⚪️🟢🇨🇦 #CelticFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 25, 2022
Johnston’s contract will be discussed in order to get the deal done and sealed. pic.twitter.com/Du9PbBLNjz
Head coach Ange Postecoglou is looking to shore up his backline, having signed Japanese centre-back Yuki Kobayashi from Vissel Kobe earlier in the day.
However, Celtic could require a replacement for Croatian right-back Josip Juranovic, whose own future at Celtic Park remains up in the air.
Enter 24-year-old right-back / RCB Alistair Johnston, whose versatility across the backline coupled with tenacious play has made him a standout over three seasons in Major League Soccer.
It seems Celtic has caught notice of Johnston's play, as Canada impressed against Belgium in their Group F opener at Qatar 2022.
For Johnston, the opportunity to play abroad is one he'd also likely relish.
"We want to test ourselves against the best forwards, the best midfielders in the world," Johnston said, as quoted by Sportsnet. "We want to show that Canadians belong, that there [are] some good players here, and that we're not just a hockey country. We've got some stereotypes to break."