SCOTLAND striker Maurice Johnston, who was taken to hospital last

night for an X-ray on a suspected broken wrist, has told Celtic that he

is returning to Nantes.

But Johnston, who replaced David Speedie for the second half of the

game against Chile, has promised Celtic that they will have first option

on his services when he is released by the French club.

Celtic still intend to ask UEFA, through the SFA, to hold an inquiry

into what they believe would be a breach of agreement if the #1.2m

transfer of Johnston to Parkhead does not go through. But the player,

who met manager Billy McNeill yesterday, has assured the club that even

if he has to play out his contract -- it finishes at the end of next

season -- Celtic will be given first choice.

The biggest transfer deal for a Scottish player seemed to be settled

when Celtic and Johnston held a press conference to announce his return

a few weeks ago. Since then, however, reports from France have indicated

a problem over tax payments between Nantes and Johnston.

The striker had his wrist strapped up when he left Hampden last night

after Chilean goalkeeper Roberto Rojas, according to Scotland coach Andy

Roxburgh, ''tramped on his arm.''

Roxburgh was not in a good mood, either, even if he was pleased with

the victory to end the season. ''It was not a satisfactory end for me

because of the negative publicity given to this game. TV and radio were

telling people not to go. I felt the criticism of a team that had lost

only one home game in two years was sad. I have to pay credit to those

fans who turned up.''

If Johnston left in some pain, his former Celtic team-mates Alan

McInally and Murdo MacLeod were jaunty enough. McInally, in his first

Hampen international, scored inside four minutes, while MacLeod, earning

his ninth cap, scored his first goal of the season.

''I thoroughly enjoyed it, '' said McInally, now with Aston Villa.

''My manager at Villa has been telling me all season to get in ahaed of

the goalkeeper. He'll be pleased to hear I did it at last. I couldn't

have wished for a better start and obviously I have not done myself any

harm for a place in the World Cup squad.''

MacLeod gets few chances to score these days, playing the defensive

midfield role for Borussia Dortmund, but his spectacular 22-yard strike

in the second half ''gave me a wee bit pride.''

Roxburgh praised both of them, and added Peter Grant to his list of

credits. ''Grant and MacLeod worked very hard for us in the middle of

the park while McInally might easily have had a hat-trick.

''It is great to play against South American teams because you learn

so much. It gives us a chance to try a different system of play and

teaches us how to cope with their style. It got a bit hysterical near

the end, but we have to learn to cope with that.''