BALONEY. That’s how Charlie Christie has described the prevailing wisdom that his son, Ryan, wants a move away from Celtic.

But whether he wants it or not, it appears there is some meat to the bones of reports linking him with a move to the English Premier League, with Norwich City and Burnley interested in landing the Scotland international.

The irony is that the man who first tried to lure Christie south of the border to Bournemouth, Eddie Howe, looks set to be passing him on his way into Celtic this summer. But given Christie senior’s vehement stance on how much his son loves being at the club, might there be a twist to this tale just yet?

Christie junior has long since been lumped in with the ‘wantaway’ group of players that former Celtic manager Neil Lennon blamed for his team’s failure to reach the Champions League group stages last August, and then fingered again at various stages of the season for the life they were draining out of the side. Along with Christie, it is the accepted wisdom that Kristoffer Ajer and Odsonne Edouard will also be moving on to pastures new.

Christie's contract, unusually, is set to expire in January of next year, meaning that he is free to talk to clubs in the summer. Celtic may look to cash in on an asset that has depreciated since last year due to both his contract running down and a stark drop-off in form. He has scored just nine goals in all competitions for Celtic this term, compared with 19 last season.

“I’ve been a wee bit disappointed at some of the things I’ve read over the past six months about him wanting to get out the door, it’s absolute nonsense,” said Charlie Christie.

“He’s had three of the best years of his life at Celtic and he’s loved every minute of it.

“Like every Celtic fan, player or staff member alike, the last nine months have not gone as we would have all hoped, but I’ve heard some absolute baloney written and said about Ryan and about the club in the last few months, and people should take check of that.

“But he loves it. He’s as devastated as anyone that they haven’t quite achieved that final aim this year.”

John Hughes has spoken before of Howe approaching him when he was manager at Inverness regarding Christie, and his dad revealed that the then Cherries boss’s due diligence went a step further.

“I got a phone call one day and it was Eddie Howe,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it, I still don’t know how he got my number.

“He detailed what he saw as a pathway for Ryan at Bournemouth. He would play for the under-23s for a season, he knew he needed developed physically and they would work on that with him, and it was a pleasure to speak to him.

“Six months later it worked out and Ryan got to go to Celtic which was great, but I thought; ‘What a gentleman’.

“I thought he did a great job at Bournemouth, and I think he is a good fit [for Celtic]. Hopefully it will happen.

“The way he had Bournemouth playing at the time is very akin to the way Celtic like to play, and that seems to be a good fit as well.

“He would be great.”

Just as James Forrest’s Celtic career was saved and revitalised by the arrival of Brendan Rodgers when the winger looked certain to be leaving back in 2016, might the arrival of Howe prompt a re-think when it comes to Christie’s future?

Celtic legend Lubo Moravcik isn’t so sure. For him, the time is right for both club and player to part ways, and he says he can understand why Christie may want to go to England, even if he isn’t desperate to leave Glasgow.

“Celtic is a very big club, but the English Premier League is a big motivation,” Moravcik said.

“There is better money for the players, and because of that, it is difficult to resist and stay for a long time at Celtic.

“For everybody, Celtic is a very good club to jump to a better league, because the Scottish league is very difficult to compare to the Premier League.

“For me, the Premier League is the best competition ever, and I think it’s a dream for everybody to play there. So, I understand.”

Despite his love for Celtic, Moravcik says he too would be tempted to move to England were he in Christie’s situation.

“Of course,” he said. “It’s absolutely logical for a young player like that.

“Like I said, it’s a dream to play in the Premier League, and he’s at a good age now to move.

“If Celtic can get some money in then that’s good for Celtic, and then they can find another player maybe who can make the same contribution and make the jump to the Premier League again.

“I think that is the role that the Scottish league has in football, to prepare the players – especially at Celtic and Rangers – for the English league.

“We have to accept that situation, because that is how it is. We’re not in the 70s or 60s, we’re I the 21st century.

“We have to accept that the English league is a different world.”

Not a world though that Celtic teammate Edouard should be too hasty to join though, according to Moravcik, who he says may benefit from more time in Scotland learning his trade.

“He had a better season the season before, this season wasn’t really the best for him because he was injured for a couple of games,” he said.

“For him, I’m not sure this is the moment to move. I think it is better to move after a better season with Celtic. He’s still young, he doesn’t need to rush a move to England or another league.

“For me, it would be better for him to stay another season and try to have a better season than the last.”

For Celtic though, having Edouard stay around would mean potentially losing him for nothing next summer, but Moravcik doesn’t think he should dismiss the notion of extending his Celtic deal.

“It’s normal, it’s good politics for the club to sign the players and sell them for money,” he said.

“I don’t know how he’s feeling personally in this situation, if he wants to stay or if he wants to move.

“It’s about having a discussion with the club.

“As a fan from afar, I watched him this season and it’s not the best time for him to move in my opinion.

“If you move to an English club you need to play. If you are 21 or 22 like he is, it’s not a good decision to move and sit on the bench.”

*Charlie Christie was speaking to the Football Daft Podcast. Lubo Moravcik was speaking to The Celtic Huddle Podcast.