Despite prolonged negotiations for weeks, wantaway Celtic star Giorgos Giakoumakis failed to secure an exit before the transfer deadline. The Greece international rejected a contract extension earlier this season and the Hoops, therefore, were open to listening to offers in the winter window.
According to Football Scotland, Giakoumakis and his entourage have been in discussions with Urawa Red Diamonds and Atlanta United for quite some time. He even completed his medical ahead of his proposed move to the J1-League side, however, the interest from MLS saw him stalling on making the decision. While the discussions are still on with Atlanta, any potential transfer to France or Italy won’t be possible now given the deadline is over.
UPDATE: As I reported earlier this morning, Atlanta United are still trying to gazump Urawa Red Diamonds to the signing of Giorgos Giakoumakis – despite him passing a medical with the J League side.
They have made another bid today. Discussions ongoing between Celtic & Atlanta. https://t.co/s0iye33Aus
— Anthony Joseph (@AnthonyRJoseph) January 28, 2023
The centre-forward should not be worried though as the reports of Sampdoria or Bordeaux’s interest did not gain enough traction over the past few days. He is expected to ply his trade in a new continent and the window is still open both in Japan and the US.
The business will continue in Japan till the end of February, whereas the MLS outfits have until May to secure Giakoumakis’ services. There is no urgency for apparent reasons and Celtic, too, must allow time to get the best possible deal from his suitors. They have already roped in Oh Hyeon-gyu who is tipped to challenge and cover Kyogo Furuhashi high up the pitch. Daizen Maeda, flexible across the frontline, is also an option for the ‘number 9’ spot, and the egress of the Greek striker won’t make much of a difference with ample alternatives in Ange Postecoglou’s ranks.
Why His Exit Could Be A Blow For Celtic
Having said that, Giakoumakis offers a different kind of threat to Maeda, Kyogo or even Oh. He is more of a traditional forward regarded for his poaching traits while spearheading the attack. Although the majority of his appearances have been from the bench, the former VVV-Venlo star has proved his worth by firing in 26 goals in 57 games.
He stepped in exquisitely during the injury absence of Kyogo and the Parkhead faithful must remember his contribution en route to reconquering the Scottish crown after losing it to the Old Firm rivals Rangers. It remains to be seen now whether Oh succeeds to emulate Giakoumakis’ impact as the understudy to their Japanese marksman.