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.
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.
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?
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.
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’.”
A couple outlets are reporting this but if some of the numbers being touted are true (think I saw €6-7m?) it’d be around the second-highest transfer fee paid by a J.League club and Urawa already have three foreign FWs and a new manager who needs to get the lay of the land… https://t.co/Y26sXaDFEk
— Dan Orlowitz (@aishiterutokyo) January 8, 2023
Reports gathering pace now that Urawa are set to splash out on both Celtic’s Giorgos Giakoumakis and Shimizu’s Thiago Santana. A foreign quota headache brewing, but these would be two superb signings. https://t.co/aRaBzJ6PpY
— Sam Robson (@FRsoccerSam) January 7, 2023
🇬🇷 | Giorgos Giakoumakis
Urawa Red Diamonds are set to complete the signing of Giorgos Giakoumakis according to reports in Japan.
Sports Hochi claim a bid has been submitted & negotiations are close to completion for the 28 year old.
— Everything Celtic (@aboutceltic) January 8, 2023
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).
BREAKING: Celtic have made a bid of £3m for South Korean striker Cho Gue-sung 🟢 pic.twitter.com/qyBY3m0Wvu
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 8, 2023
EXCLUSIVE! Celtic outbid Mainz for Cho Gue-Sung to force Jeonbuk negotiation after German club previously in pole position
— Mark Hendry (@mhendry92) January 8, 2023
UPDATE: Celtic have made a bid of around £3m for South Korea striker Cho Gue-sung. The Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors player is also subject of a similar offer from Mainz, but it’s believed they’re not prepared to go much higher. Ferencvaros also interested but have not tabled a bid yet. https://t.co/E3HYMuyidj pic.twitter.com/zHUbxhV38S
— Anthony Joseph (@AnthonyRJoseph) January 8, 2023
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.
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.