Alistair Johnston: €4m Celtic transfer could be 'announced soon' as defender to become second January signing

Celtic are closing in on completing the signing of Canada’s World Cup star Alistair Johnston.

According to journalist Manuel Veth, the deal has been “completely agreed” and it should be “announced soon”. The 24-year-old has been one of the breakout stars of the group stage after a hugely impressive performance against Belgium at the right of a three-man backline when the Canadians were unfortunate to win all three points.

Johnston will likely be involved against Morocco in the third and final fixture for Canada who are unable to reach the knockout stages. The versatile defender will become Celtic’s second January signing following the arrival of Yuki Kobayashi from Vissel Kobe.

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The deal is expected to be worth an initial €4million, the player arriving from MLS outfit CF Montreal. Nominally a right-back, Johnston played at wing-back during the last campaign, helping the Canadians reach the MLS Cup play-offs where they were knocked out by New York City having defeated Orlando in the qualifying round.

Johnston addressed the Celtic speculation recently, joking he’d need to upgrade his phone. He said: “To be linked with a club like Celtic is obviously something that I think every footballer is excited by. It’s one of the most passionate fan bases in the world. It’s a club that even people who don’t follow football know who it is. My phone’s been blowing up. So look, I’m super excited to get linked to that.”

The player holds a UK passport due to his mother being from Northern Ireland.

Alistair Johnston is nearing a move to Celtic. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)