Barry Wilson believes Caley Thistle have been made an offer they cannot refuse for Ryan Christie following Celtic’s £500,000 bid for the Inverness midfielder.
The Scottish Premiership champions are keen to secure Christie’s signature before Tuesday’s transfer deadline. The Hoops’ offer includes an Inverness percentage of any sell-on fee and will also send Christie back on loan to the Highlanders for the rest of the season.
Caley Thistle’s board will meet this weekend to decide the next step but is stalling on the offer as it only meets half of the Scottish Cup champions’ valuation on the Inverness-born youngster.
Christie, who won the Scottish football writers’ young player-of-the-year award last season, has one year left on his contract at Inverness, although the club has the option of another year’s extension.
Former Caley Jags midfielder Wilson believes the club should take the Hoops’ current offer, insisting Inverness must take advantage of the opportunity to retain the 20-year-old’s services while also being able to reinvest money into manager John Hughes’ injury-hit squad.
Wilson said: “It’s a win-win. The club is getting much-needed funds and also keeping Ryan for the rest of the season, which they need as well.
“Before the Celtic game, John said he would be looking for a deal that would have Ryan loaned back, so it would be surprising if Caley Thistle turned it down as £500,000 is a lot of money.
“With the injuries Inverness have had, now is a good time to get some money in to bring in a couple of players.”
Wilson enjoyed two stints with Inverness, initially leaving the Highlands in 2000 to join Livingston before returning three years later.
The 43-year-old reckons the move to Parkhead would be a good step for Christie, adding: “Ryan has definitely got what it takes.
“For the development of his career, another full season playing Premiership football would be perfect.
“He’s only going to get better as a player, and stronger as a man as he develops and fills out a bit.
“It would be a great move for him. It’s too early for him to to move to the English Premier League, or even the Championship – especially when you look at the likes of Billy Mckay and Adam Rooney.
“Ryan could get a bad injury in six months and the chance could be gone. Players do not get many chances to sign for a club like Celtic.”