John Hartson offers Celtic surprising advice over Aston Villa's Stefan Johansen pursuit

John Hartson believes Celtic should consider selling Stefan Johansen to Aston Villa.

Former Celtic striker John Hartson has told The Scottish Sun that he thinks the Bhoys should accept any potential £5m bid from Aston Villa for Stefan Johansen.

Johansen, 25, hit 13 goals from midfield last season, firing Celtic to the Scottish Premiership title with a host of impressive displays.

Many had expected the Norwegian international to enjoy another outstanding season, and some had even thought that he could make the jump to the Premier League, just as players like Ki Sung-yueng, Victor Wanyama, Fraser Forster and Virgil van Dijk have over the years.

However, Johansen has struggled this season, scoring only four goals and looking like a shadow of his former self, with a number of midfielders seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order now.

Surprisingly, The Scottish Sun reported earlier this week that Aston Villa wanted to sign Johansen in a £5m deal, with manager Remi Garde seeking reinforcements in his fight against relegation.

Now, Garde's former Arsenal team-mate and ex-Celtic striker John Hartson has given the Bhoys some surprising advice in a column with The Scottish Sun - he thinks that Deila's men should cash in on Johansen, despite the Norwegian boss making it clear that he wants to keep his former Stromsgodset man at Celtic Park, as quoted by Sky Sports.

"Remi Garde is a pal of mine from our time together at Arsenal," said Hartson. "But if he thinks Stefan Johansen is the player to keep Aston Villa in the Premier League he’d better think again. Fact is there isn’t a player out there capable of doing that.  Villa are doomed and I’d be surprised if Remi doesn’t know that already because everyone else does."

"But if he’s still willing to pay £5million for Johansen then I’d suggest Peter Lawwell would bite off his hand. Let’s be honest, the Celtic chief executive knows a good deal when he sees one. There’s absolutely no doubt he’ll be asking Ronny Deila where Johansen fits into his plans."

"Don’t get me wrong, I think Johansen is a decent player on his day. But the fact is it’s not been his day all season and there aren’t any signs that’s about to change any time soon," he added.

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