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CELTIC TRANSFER UPDATE: GIAKOUMAKIS ON MOVE, J-LEAGUE DUO LINKED, CHO NO-GO

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GIORGOS GIAKOUMAKIS has kicked his last ball for Celtic – if a report in Japanese outlet Sponichi is accurate.

At the same time, the same media source state the champions are interested in J-League double-act Thiago Santos Santana and Yuito Suzuki.

And, in a hectic spell in the transfer window for Ange Postecoglou, another report i adamant the race for South Koream World Cup hitman Cho Gue-sung is OVER.

It looks as though Giakoumakis is on his way to cash-rich Urawa Red Diamonds with the Greek striker booked in for a medical before the formality of a deal is concluded with Celtic. The Parkhead club are looking to rake in at least £7million for the 28-year-old frontman who cost £2.5million from Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo in August 2021.

The international forward knocked back an enhanced contract extension in November amid speculation he was not happy with the terms or his lack of game time.

The powerhouse attacker last started a game for the champions in the 4-2 win over Dundee United at Parkhead on November 5. He has been substitute on eight successive occasions, including the 2-0 win last weekend over tonight’s Viaplay League Cup semi-final opponents Kilmarnock.

His last goal came in the 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk on October 25 and it has been been clear Kyogo Furuhashi is Ange Postecoglou’s first pick to lead the attack.

Giakoumakis has replaced the Japanese raider in seven of his last eight appearances – the other being for Daizen Maeda in the 2-2 draw at Ibrox on January 2.

The report in the Far East outlet claims the player, who has scored 25 goals in 56 outings for the Hoops, will be officially unveiled as a Urawa Red Diamonds recruit following the formality of a medical.

Meanwhile, the Hoops have been linked with the J-League’s leading marksman Santana, scorer of 14 goals last season, and his Shimizu S Pule team-mate, winger Suzuki, who has also been monitored by top Begian outfit Club Brugge.

Brazilian Santana, who will turn 30 next month, has a wealth of experience after arriving in the Far East following four seasons in Portugal with Setubal and Santa Clara.

It looked as though Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors attack-leader Cho had been lined up as Giakoumakis’ successor, but any proposed deal now appears to be off with the 24-year-old international remaining in the K-League until at least the end of the season.

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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