Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Manager Steve MacLean accepts that St Johnstone may be fighting a losing battle as they look to keep reported Celtic target Ali McCann at McDiarmid Park, while speaking to The Herald. 

When you consider that Ange Postecoglou’s free-flowing, Cruyff-inspired brand of possession-heavy football played a key role in Celtic’s decision to hand him the keys to the Parkhead machine, it is easy to see how McCann would fit in under the former Australia boss in the green half of Glasgow. 

At the age of 21, the Edinburgh-born play-maker is already one of the most talented and influential midfielders in the Premiership. 

Celtic confirm Ange Postecoglou as manager | LIVE Reaction

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His composure and quality in possession is exactly what you would expect from a man who idolises Steven Davis and Marco Verratti, even if McCann could still improve his output in the final third.

With Postecoglou under immediate pressure to fill a Scott Brown-sized hole in the Celtic engine room, it seems unlikely that Neil Lennon’s replacement would block any move for the five-time Northern Ireland international. 

Will Ali McCann be Ange Postecoglou’s first Celtic signing?

“He is a top player. He has had a fantastic season. When you watch him he just seems to do everything well,” Buddies boss MacLean said of a man who helped St Johnstone to an iconic cup double in 2020/21. 

“The ground he covers in games is fantastic.  

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

“It will be hard to keep him. 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.  

“If someone comes in to take him we will just have to move on. He will deserve it if he does get his move.” 

St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown told the Record a few weeks ago that McCann would not be going anywhere for less than £1.75 million, with the one-time Stranraer loanee set to become the most expensive export in the club’s history. 

And McCann’s prospective switch to Celtic has already been given the green light by a man who knows him better than most… 

Photo by Craig Foy/SNS Group via Getty Images

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