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Report of two clubs involved in Celtic’s first January exit

After a successful loan spell back in the J-League Yosuke Ideguchi looks set to leave Celtic on a permanent basis.

The midfielder has painful memories of his only starting appearance for Celtic which virtually killed off his prospects of a career in Europe.

While he dealt with the aftermath of a brutal challenge from Alloa’s Mouhamed Niang that was retrospectively upgraded to a red card by the SFA Celtic quickly got into their stride with Matt O’Riley and Reo Hatate, signed during the same window, becoming must-picks in midfield.

In the next match O’Riley made his debut, a midweek trip to Hearts where he picked up the Man of the Match award with Hatate scoring a stunning goal to put Celtic in front.

Ideguchi had to make do with five substitute appearances in the remainder of the 21/22 season, when Aaron Mooy and Oliver Abildgaard were signed in the summer transfer window it was clear that the former Gamba Osaka midfielder was already surplus to requirements.

After a successful loan through the 2023 J-League season Football Scotland reports:

Ideguchi returned to his homeland in February after an unsuccessful 12 months in Glasgow, and despite suffering an ankle break after just a month, the Japan international bounced back to help Avispa Fukuoka achieve their highest-ever finish in the J League and was the driving force behind their YBC Levain Cup victory.

His impressive form also saw him nominated for the prestigious 2023 J League Award and now the ex-Gamba Osaka has become hot property in Japan. Avispa Fukuoka are understood to be locked in talks with Hoops chiefs over a permanent transfer but face competition from J1 League rivals Vissel Kobe who are also keen on the player.

Celts are keen to offload Ideguchi, who made just one start under former boss Ange Postecoglou, and should recoup the £800k fee they paid in January 2022.

Moving Ideguchi on is one small step in what could be a massive January clear out but it is unlikely that any players will be moving out for less wages.

Midfielders Tomoki Iwata, Odin Thiago Holm and Kwon Hyeok-kyu have all failed to make much of an impact with Paulo Bernardo brought in on loan in the final week of the transfer window.

A major exercise is needed to cut the first team squad down to a manageable level but as the recent examples of Albian Ajeti, Vasilis Barkas and Ismaila Soro demonstrate that task is easier completed on paper than in reality.

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