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Daily Record
Daily Record
Craig Swan

Ange Postecoglou reveals Celtic transfer plan ahead of January green light as delay fears remain

Ange Postecoglou admits he’s pushing to get new signings in the door ahead of Celtic’s New Year crunch with Rangers.

And the boss has also revealed he faces a last-ditch call on strike duo Kyogo Furuhashi and James Forrest for Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup Final against Hibs with the pair both out of tonight’s Premiership clash with Ross County.

Postecoglou’s squad has been left light by injury issues and the manager has targeted fresh faces in next month’s transfer window to boost the ranks

The Aussie wants them in place as quickly as possible.

And, even though he accepts the current climate is going to make it difficult to have any new recruit available for the January 2 showdown against Rangers, he’s giving it a go.

(SNS Group)

Postecoglou said: “It’s probably more idealistic than realistic. But if you shoot for the stars, they say you’ll land on the moon.

“So I’m pushing to get them in as early as possible in the window.

“To get them before January 2 might be a bit of a stretch, but I do want them as soon as I can because that period before we restart could be crucial in integrating any new players we have.

“Rather than what happened in the summer window where the league has started while we were still signing players. I don’t want to be in that situation.”

Celtic have eyes firmly on the Asian market with Japanese media claiming a deal has already been struck for Kawasaki Frontale ace Reo Hatate.

But Postecoglou said: “The situation with our transfers is that it is constant and we are working through them.

“Nothing is done yet. As I’ve always said, we live in unusual times when things aren’t straightforward. There are delays in areas.

“We haven’t concluded any deals yet, but we are working really hard to make sure we have deals in place early in the window so the ones we want to join us can do so early in the piece.

“We are working through things. Nothing has been confirmed or done.

“If I said a deal had been done, I could be proved a liar in a day’s time because something happened.”

Postecoglou’s immediate focus is on tonight’s vital game in Dingwall and he is going to be without Furuhashi and Forrest as well as Giorgos Giakoumakis, Albian Ajeti and Jota.

(SNS Group)

The last-named three are already out of Sunday’s Hampden showdown with Hibs and the boss said: “James had an issue and we’re still waiting on information on that. We’re assessing Mikey Johnston. He had a slight issue.

“Giakoumakis is still a couple of weeks. Forrest and Kyogo, we are just going to have to wait and assess them. They are ruled out of Wednesday. That’s all I can rule them out of at the moment and we’ll see how the week goes.”

Postecoglou is refusing to take an eye off Ross County due to the importance of the league match and the threat of the Highland opposition.

He said: “I know people talk about the Cup Final as a significant event and it is.

“But I don’t think Wednesday is any less for us.

“We’ve been in good form the last three months, our performances have been really good and we don’t want to lose that momentum.

“So it’s important we maintain that against Ross County.”

Postecoglou, meanwhile, has revealed the club are keeping a close watch on Covid developments in regards to any planned trips for a winter training camp.

Portugal has been mooted as a possible destination, but the boss it’s a case of simply assessing developments through a changing landscape.

Postecoglou said: “Everything is under review. It’s a day-to-day situation. We’ll do what’s the most prudent thing to do in terms of our preparation and also understanding the health and safety of our group, staff and players.”

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