Report: Celtic to open contract talks with John Souttar; Mixu Paatelainen comments on renewal chances

Celtic are set to open talks with Dundee Untied’s John Souttar.

Celtic are ready to start contract talks with John Souttar of Dundee United, the Scottish Sun reports.

Ronny Deila is a big fan of the teenage talent, and is keen to bring him to Parkhead. Able to play in both central defence and holding midfield, Souttar would be another young Scot linking up with Celtic as Deila hopes to build a generation of continued, homegrown success with the Bhoys.

Souttar is out of contract at the end of this season, and has been in talks with Tannadice chiefs to exited his deal. However, the report claims that talks have broken down, and it is now expected that Celtic will open talks to secure him on a pre-contract deal, before a free transfer in the summer.

Celtic will owe Dundee United a compensation fee due to the 19-year-old’s age, but they will be capturing a real talent for a much smaller fee than expected.

Despite this report claiming that talks between Souttar and United have broken down, head coach Mixu Paatelainen has told the Sun that talks are still ongoing, although the original offer was taken off the table as Souttar had taken too long to respond.

For Paatelainen, he believes the feeling from both parties is that Souttar will extend with Dundee United this month.

He said: "The contract was on the table for a long period, then nothing happened from the other side so it was taken off the table. Talks are ongoing and the feeling from both parties is that John stays here."

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