Ryan Christie in Celtic returns hope as mystery of Odsonne’s Edouard Rangers availability deepens


Celtic are hoping star man Ryan Christie could still get a dramatic 11-hour reprieve to face Rangers at Parkhead on Saturday.Record of sport He understands the champions believe Christie should be allowed to compete in the first Old Firm derby of the season, despite being ordered to self-isolate for a fortnight by government health officials 11 years ago. days.

And they are closely watching an Arsenal attempt to make Kieran Tierney available for their Premier League clash with Manchester City this weekend.

Christie and Tierney were asked to leave the Scotland squad last week after former Celtic teammate Stuart Armstrong tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the night of Euro 2020 semi-final glory against Israel.

While Armstrong is reportedly available for selection for Southampton this weekend, after a 10-day quarantine period, Tierney and Christie have been tasked with remaining under house arrest.

But today Gunners boss Mikel Arteta insisted he hopes to have Tierney on his squad for the trip to the Etihad. And Celtic’s senior executives await developments as manager Neil Lennon braces for a table-top showdown with city rivals who have already lost at least two players to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are still having discussions with the authorities,” said the Arsenal boss.

“It gets very complicated when you send players overseas and obviously you lose control.

“Some authorities have different regulations than the Premier League.”

Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed are out for good, with the Israeli duo remaining in their homeland after contracting the disease on an international mission – while star striker Odsonne Edouard could also miss the game after registering a positive levy after showing up at the service of the French. under 21.

And while Edward’s availability remains uncertain, Celtic have not given up on hopes Christie will get the green light to play after a string of negative tests over the past week.

A source said: “We are monitoring the situation with Kieran and Arsenal very closely, but we will have to wait and see how these talks play out. Obviously, if Arsenal are cleared to play on Saturday, it would be hard to see why the same didn’t apply to Ryan.

Oddly enough, there was still no confirmation tonight of Edward’s arrival in Glasgow after completing a 10-day period of isolation in Paris.

But Celtic quickly hired a private jet and will bring goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas back to the country in the early hours of Friday morning after fears the new £ 5million boy would be left stranded in Athens by a traffic control strike air.

Barkas was on the bench as Greece drew 0-0 with Kosovo in a Nations League clash on Wednesday night and was due to catch a 7am flight back to Glasgow this morning.

But with two days of industrial action expected to start an hour later, Celtic have paid up on the money to make sure they don’t stay grounded in Athens.

Neil Lennon, meanwhile, insists football chiefs must reconsider player safety concerns around Covid-19 during international breaks.

The manager told Sky Sports Scotland: “He cannot continue as he is going because we are losing too many players. Not just us, but a lot of other clubs as well.

“Even countries. Take the example of the Czech Republic, in the previous round, they had to change groups completely.

“It totally dilutes the quality and integrity of the competition.

“It’s very hard for me to say that you’re not going to play for your country, it’s something I would never want to do to a player.

“But these are unprecedented times and we are in a very difficult situation.

“Even at home now, it seems the virus is escalating. So ideally we don’t want them to travel, but we’re not going to point the finger at them and say you can’t go.


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