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‘Just have to move on’: Manager comments on 21-year-old’s future as Celtic reportedly eye £2m deal

Steve MacLean has conceded – via The Herald – that it will be hard for St Johnstone to keep hold of reported Celtic target Ali McCann this summer.

The Saints boss believes McCann has begun to attract admirers after an excellent campaign at McDiarmid Park last season. And he backs the 21-year-old to have a host more suitors if he continues to impress for club and country.

McCann made his Northern Ireland debut in November and fired home his first international goal against Malta last month. He was rarely a goal threat for St Johnstone last term, netting twice and offering two assists in all competitions.

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But McCann’s performances over his 43 appearances have seen Celtic look fondly on the Saints fans’ favourite. They do, however, face a £2million asking price and a host of rival clubs, per The Sun.

And MacLean believes it would need a lofty figure to prise the Edinburgh-born man away from St Johnstone.

“It will be hard to keep him,” MacLean said. “I think if someone was to come in, the Chairman and Callum have said that they will need to pay a big fee. They will come in if he keeps performing and teams will be coming to watch him.

“He will get everything he deserves as long as he keeps working hard. He will just get better and better. If someone comes in to take him, we will just have to move on. He will deserve it if he does get his move.”

TBR’s view: MacLean hands Celtic a McCann boost

MacLean has gifted Celtic a boost in the pursuit by admitting St Johnstone will struggle to keep hold of McCann. It shows the Saints are aware they risk losing him and suggests the McDiarmid outfit are preparing themselves for that eventuality.

But Celtic may have to move swiftly if they want to sign McCann this summer. His efforts last season attracted a host of admirers and his first goal for Northern Ireland will only have heightened their interest.

McCann rounded off a nice passing move to net against Malta after battling on following a bruising start. He delivered another top-draw display against Ukraine last Thursday, as well, getting about the pitch plenty and moving the ball well when in possession.

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