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Anthony Joseph adds to confusion over Celtic ‘signings’

Since Saturday morning, when Celtic were playing against Portimonense there has been a steady stream of news out of Korea about players being signed by Celtic.

This afternoon Anthony Joseph added to the frenzy despite complete silence from Celtic on the reported ‘done deals’.

The Sky Sports reporter claimed that Kwon Hyeok-kyu has agreed personal terms for his move from Buson Ipark with the Celtic Executive team settling in for some sleep after a 10 hour flight and plus eight hours time adjustment to account for.

Kwon played for Buson on Sunday and waved his farewell to the fans with all of the signs from Korea being that the move is done and dusted.

The midfielder told Korean website Sports Navar: “I received a lot of help from Busan I-Park since my youth days in middle school. They continue to meet good leaders, and I’m very always grateful to the team that has led him to grow.

I will work hard to become a player that the Busan club and juniors will be proud of. I will become the best player in Celtic and go to higher places such as the German Bundesliga or the English Premier League (EPL).”

One theory that is being put around is that Celtic are looking to reveal Kwan and Yang Hyun-jun while they are in Japan but that has been blown out of the water by the announcements from Buson Ipark and Gangwon.

It shouldn’t have been a problem for the two Korean clubs to delay announcements by a couple of days but in the social media age it seems like they wanted to maximise the impact at the weekend when Buson and Gangwon both played at home.

Celtic are likely to have some employment paperwork to complete for two Korean arrivals who haven’t yet played at full international level. Those matters would have been checked out before negotiations started although they will still take time to be rubber stamped.

After that there is the issue of where the two new arrivals fit into the plans of Brendan Rodgers, with the Korean season in full flow there shouldn’t be any fitness issues with Kwan and Yang both regulars with around 20 appearances to their name.

Yang could leap frog the injured Marco Tilio for a place on the wing but Liel Abada and James Forrest both know the terrain of life in the SPFL.

Kwan possibly has an even tougher task getting into the Celtic midfield, in January Tomoki Iwata was signed as a central midfielder with Odin Thiago Holm officially the first signing made by Rodgers.

James McCarthy and David Turnbull are also at the club but look like the players Rodgers had in mind when he discussed trimming the squad down to workable numbers.

Some light can be thrown onto how Rodgers’ side will play when they take on Yokohama F Marinos on Wednesday followed by Saturday’s match against Gamba Osaka.

Over those two matches the main players are likely to get the bulk of the game time, with their J-League opponents in mid-season those matches won’t be the type to tinker in too much with Yokohama sitting in second place in the J-League and managed by Kevin Muscat.

Following the matches in Japan Celtic take on Wolves and Athletic Bilbao before the SPFL Premiership opener against Ross County on August 5.


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