Saturday, January 28, 2023

Celtic Agree Deal For This South Korean Centre-forward: Smart Move From Postecoglou?

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Pratyay Maitra
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If a report from Sky Sports is believed to be true, Celtic have agreed a £2.5m fee with Suwon Bluewings for young South Korean striking ace Oh Hyeon-gyu. The youngster is also keen on a Parkhead move and the Hoops are expected to strike a deal in the coming days to make him their fourth winter recruit after Alistair Johnston, Yuki Kobayashi and Tomoki Iwata.

The 21-year-old prodigy has the blessings of his manager Lee Byung-keun ahead of a potential Celtic switch.

 “I told Hyeon-gyu that a bigger offer would come if he does well this season, but Celtic kept giving him better offers. He came to my room nearly four times and talked to me. I couldn’t break Hyeon-gyu’s heart anymore.”

Byung-keun told KBS as he tried his best to keep hold of his prized asset.

The South Korean youth international, who earned a senior cap against Iceland back in November, joined The Blue, White and Reds from Maetan High School. Although he failed to find the net in his maiden senior campaign, a loan spell with Sangju followed by a stint at Gimcheon Sangmu (army) helped him flourish his game.

Ange Postecoglou

After completing his loan, Hyeon-gyu returned to his parent club and eventually secured a starting status high up the pitch for the 2022 K League 1 season. He went on to score 13 goals and helped his side maintain the top-flight status by escaping relegation.

Meanwhile, the Celts are also chasing the signing of his compatriot Cho Gue-sung. The Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors star grabbed the limelight following a stellar FIFA World Cup campaign and the signing of Hyeon-gyu would not rule out a swoop for the 24-year-old centre-forward.

Why Celtic Should Opt For Hyeon-gyu

Celtic, meanwhile, are well equipped in the attacking third. Kyogo Furuhashi is the outright ‘number 9’ option, but they also have Giorgos Giakoumakis who has impressed as the understudy to the Japanese sensation. Daizen Maeda has exhibited his flexibility across the frontline, however, the latest developments could see Giakoumakis parting ways after rejecting a contract extension.

The Hoops have accepted a £3m bid from J-League outfit Urawa Red Diamonds and the Greek hitman is weighing up his options amid interest from MLS side Atlanta United. Maeda, too, is more effective from the wide given his work rate and energy, and the Glasgow giants, therefore, are actively pursuing a new striking option to challenge and cover Furuhashi. Ange Postecoglou, aware of the talent pool in the Far East, is once again making use of his contacts to rope in another promising star.

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