Brendan Rodgers appears to be picking up where Ange Postecoglou left off at Celtic with J-League stars Eom Ji-Sung, Jeong Ho-Yeon and Yang Hyun-Jun all summer targets for the Scottish Premiership champions.
When Ange Postecoglou’s departure to Tottenham Hotspur was confirmed earlier this month, Celtic supporters were left wondering if this drew a line under the East Asian revolution at Parkhead. Postecoglou, the former Vissel Kobe boss, had played such a key role in the signings of Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and co, after all.
And, shortly after Postecoglou said his goodbyes, Ryotaro Ito – a player reportedly on Celtic’s radar – moved to Belgium instead.
But reports from the Daily Record suggesting that at least three more Far East stars remain in Celtic’s sights even after the whirlwind exit of their Australian tactician suggest that Postecoglou’s legacy lives on.
The Premiership champions have reportedly ‘made initial contact’ with Gangwon about Yang Hyun-Jun
A 21-year-old forward who can play anywhere across the frontline, Jun scored eight goals and set up four more in the South Korean top-flight in 2022.
“It is true Celtic (are interested in) Yang Hyun-jun,” Gangwon director Kim Tae-joo explained recently.
The Hoops face an uphil battle convincing Gangwon to cash in, however.
“No, we will not transfer Yang this summer. The transfer fee is not a big problem. However, the priority is to consider the current team situation.
“We also conveyed the position we wouldn’t release Yang to Celtic for six months and then send him in the winter. But Celtic is sticking to the position of wanting to recruit Yang during this summer.”
Gwangju FC duo Eom Ji-Sung and Jeong Ho-Yeon are also targets. Eom is a left-winger who likes to cut inside onto his favoured right foot. Joeng, meanwhile, is a more defensively-minded player; one who does his best work at the base of midfield.
Jeong may be viewed perhaps as an alternative to Ardon Jashari; the Switzerland international and FC Luzern captain who could cost in excess of £4 million amid interest from FC Porto and a number of Bundesliga clubs.
Celtic confirmed their first summer signing this week; Odin Thiago Holm arriving from Scandinavian football.