Scottish champions Celtic reportedly remain well placed to sign Jeonbuk striker, Cho Gue-sung, despite the emerging rival interest in the South Korea international.
What’s the word?
As per Football Scotland, the Parkhead outfit have been joined in the race for the 24-year-old’s signature by Old Firm foes, Rangers, albeit with the Light Blues having yet to make an offer for the forward.
Writing on Twitter about that developing story, journalist Mark Hendry has revealed that the Hoops – who have reportedly made a £3m bid for the highly-coveted sensation – are still in a “strong position” to get the deal done.
The transfer insider stated: “Key element to note is #RangersFC have not yet made concrete bid while #CelticFC have been in negotiations for a while. Hoops still in very strong position.”
Sky Sports have also since revealed that the Bhoys are ‘holding talks’ in London with the player’s current side in an attempt to strike a deal.
Despite the Gers having shown their interest in the 6 foot 2 menace, it would appear that Ange Postecoglou’s side are still a leading candidate in the battle for the forward, with Cho’s arrival potentially set to help alleviate the exit of Greek marksman, Giorgos Giakoumakis.
The 28-year-old has been unable to agree terms regarding an improved deal with the Glasgow side, with the contract impasse sparking suggestions that the former VVV-Venlo ace could be allowed to depart this month.
Should Celtic allow Giakoumakis to leave?
The latest speculation is that the £12k-per-week man could be on his way to J-League side Urawa Red Diamonds, while transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has also confirmed that the imposing marksman is attracting interest from a raft of suitors across the globe, including Serie A outfit, Sampdoria.
The 6 foot 1 powerhouse has typically been a free-scoring presence for the Hoops to date with 25 goals in 56 games across all fronts, although he has failed to score in the Scottish Premiership since October after featuring off the bench in each of his last eight league outings.
That lack of game time should indicate that Postecoglou may well be planning for life without the one-time AEK Athens man, with the addition of Cho only set to help hasten Giakoumakis’ departure from the club.
The Korean hotshot has been in prolific form at club level in recent times after netting 21 goals in 35 games during the most recent K-League campaign, having also starred at international level with six goals and two assists in just 20 appearances.
Not only is the former FC Anyang man able to match Giakoumakis’ finishing prowess, but he can also offer a physical presence and a focal point when leading the line, having been described as a “real handful for defenders” by journalist Pete O’Rourke.
As such, managing to get Cho through the door should well ensure that it is the ideal time to say goodbye to Giakoumakis.