Transfer Round-up – Juranovic, Giakoumakis, Larisey and Cho Gue-sung latest

Stephen McGowan, writing in Scottish Daily Mail this morning provides an update on where Celtic are at the moment in terms of the latest reported situations on both Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis, who both seem likely to be sold this month and on the replacement for the Greek striker – who hit the bar twice at the weekend against Kilmarnock.

Ibrox  January 2nd 2023: Josip Juranovic of Celtic responds to Celtic support during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between theRangers and Celtic. Photo by Richard Callis/SPP

Juranovic had been quoted as being of interest to Chelsea, Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and even Barcelona so it seemed rather ludicrous when reports of interest in the Croatian World Cup star – who made the team of the tournament in Qatar, helping Croatia to a third place finish – linking him with a loan move to Italian minnows Monza appeared a few weeks ago.

Their reported plan was to take Juranovic on loan until the end of the season and if they avoid relegation to pay Celtic £7m for the right-back in the summer. That was a deal that we all thought would be laughed out of Paradise by Michael Nicholson backed by his new Chairman Peter Lawwell (who likes a good transfer negotiation when it comes to selling Celtic players).

Yet McGowan is not only giving this story credence but is in fact reporting that it is likely to happen, also dropping in that Juranovic had fallen out of favour at Celtic before the World Cup.

Josip Juranovic reacts during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 quarter final match between Croatia and Brazil at Education City Stadium on December 09, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

The jam-tomorrow transfer fee is bad enough but it’s also at least £10m lighter than most Celtic supporters reckoned that the club would earn from the sale, suggesting that there is a clause in the contract that the Croatian signed when he joined Celtic from Legia Warsaw (who may also have a percentage interest via a sell-on clause in this proposed deal).

Chelsea are perhaps the most likely alternative option – but if memory serves me right – the fee that was mentioned from this reports was also around £7m. Did this come from the Monza reports or is that the sum that Juranovic’s agent is touting, with prior agreement from Michael Nicholson?

Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson (centre) Photo: Jeff Holmes

And while you would expect Juranovic to want to play for Chelsea rather than be involved in a relegation battle in Serie A, there have also been mentions that he had instructed his agent to get him a move to Italy.

McGowan reports: “The Croatia World Cup defender is keen to join Monza – owned by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi — on loan with a deferred £7m fee agreed for the summer. The right back’s representatives held talks in Milan at the end of last week. Now Monza chief Adriano Galliani is keen to cut a deal with Celtic in the coming days.” Baffling stuff.

Giorgos Giakoumakis applauds supporters at the end of the Champions League match between Celtic and Shakhtar Donetsk, at Celtic Park , on October 25, 2022. –  (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

On Giakoumakis, who hasn’t scored for Celtic since October and has looked an increasingly frustrated figure in his appearances from the bench, with the Greek throwing the kitchen sink at Kilmarnock in the closing stages of Celtic’s 2-0 win at the weekend as he sought to end his personal goalscoring drought, only to be denied twice by the Celtic Park crossbar, it now looks like he’s Japan-bound after turning down a new deal with Celtic and apparently instructing his agent to get him a move.

We’ve had Saudi Arabia and Denmark (FC Midtjylland couldn’t meet Celtic’s asking price) links already but this latest report linking him with a move to the J-League looks the most plausible. McGowan notes: “Reports in Japan, meanwhile, state that Urawa — bankrolled by Mitsubishi — are in discussions with Celtic over a transfer fee, with ‘negotiations progressing well’.”

McGowan confirms the multiple reports yesterday that Celtic are closing in on the deal to sign South Korean World Cup star Cho Gue-sung, presumably as a replacement for Giakoumakis (the Juranovic replacement, Alistair Johnston, has already taken his place in the Celtic team).

South Korea’s forward #09 Cho Gue-sung celebrates scoring his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group H football match between South Korea and Ghana at the Education City Stadium in Al-Rayyan, west of Doha, on November 28, 2022. (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)

As well as Alistair Johnston, Ange Postecoglou has also completed the signings of J-League stars Yuki Kobayashi (an unused substitute on Saturday) and Tomoki Iwata who arrived from Japan on Friday and was introduced to the Celtic support at the weekend.

 New Celtic signing Tomoki Iwata is unveiled at half time during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and Kilmarnock FC at on January 07, 2023 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And another Celtic transfer story, this one centres on Fran Alonso’s Celtic FC Women side losing our top goalscorer and arguably the best player in the SWPL1 in Canada forward Clarissa Larisey who as The Celtic Star reported last night looks to have played her last game for Celtic and is set to join Swedish side BK Häcken in a deal where Celtic receive swap plus fee for the hugely talented striker.

READ THIS…Clarissa Larisey heading to Sweden as Celtic arrange swap plus fee deal for striker

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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