Ange Eyes January Raid on J-League: “I’ve been looking at it very closely, I know the Japanese market very well”

“I’ve been looking at it very closely,” Ange Postecoglou admitted at the club’s mainstream media conference earlier today, ahead of tomorrow’s Scottish Premiership match against St Mirren at Celtic Park. The Celtic manager was talking about looking at the J-League for additional recruits based on his in-depth knowledge of the playing pool in Japan and of course the brilliant start to his Celtic career from new fans favourite, Kyogo Furuhashi.

Photo: Andrew Milligan]

“I know the Japanese market very well but it’s also a tricky time because they’re still mid-season,” Ange admitted.

“There’s a lot of players I’d love to have a look at closely and bring over, but I know it’ll be almost impossible to get them out.

“Clubs are still playing for the league, cup and Champions League so they’re very reluctant to let them go. Traditionally it’s always been easier to get them out during our winter break which is the end of their season.

“It’s a market I know well and there’s a lot of talent there people still haven’t realised.”

If there are numerous players at Kyogo’s level then there is sure to be more than just Celtic bargain hunting in the J-League come the opening of the January window. Yet with Ange Postecoglou managing Celtic and Kyogo Furuhashi turning into a real Celtic hero among the support, then convincing these targets to head to Glasgow shouldn’t be that difficult!

Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates scoring. Photo: Andrew Milligan

“That’s not to say they’ll all be at Kyogo’s level. I was super confident about him. He has dominated that league for the last three or four years. I was surprised he hadn’t left earlier to be honest,” Ange admitted.

“We just got lucky he had stuck around for a bit. There’s definitely more talent there and it’s a market we’re looking at closely.”

While no signing have been completed today Celtic are close to announcing a completed deal for Legia Warsaw right-back Josip Juranovic who is this evening undergoing a medical and could even be introduced as a new Celtic signing before kick-off tomorrow afternoon.

: SLAVIA PRAGUE – LEGIA WARSAW JOSIP JURANOVIC

Liam Scales is also Paradise bound, probably at the end of next week after Shamrock Rovers play the second leg of their Conference League qualifier against Estonian side Flora Tallinn, with the Dubliners looking to overcome a 4-2 first leg defeat next week. The Celtic bound left sided defender scored one of their goals last night. Scales will cost Celtic around £600,000.

Liam Scales of Shamrock Rovers. Photo: INPHO/ Lorraine OSullivan

Celtic are also in the race to sign VVV Venlo’s Greece international goalscorer Georgios Giakoumakis, although that appears to be waiting on activity surrounding want-away striker Odsonne Edouard.

Georgios Giakoumakis of VVV-Venlo cheers after scoring. Photo ANP MARCEL VAN HOORN

With the transfer window ‘slamming shut’ next week, the second leg of the Europa League Play-off in Holland against AZ Alkmaar and of course Sunday’s visit to play Scottish football’s youngest side – the Spoilt Brats – on Sunday, there is a danger, according to one hack, that Celtic might take tomorrow’s match against St Mirren – who have already won at Celtic Park this year – for granted.  Not a chance according to Ange.

Watch the Celtic manager’s Mainstream media conference below…

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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