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Kobayashi knocks back Celtic escape route

Yuki Kobayashi is reported to have turned down a loan move to HJK Helsinki.

After one year in Glasgow and with four more left to run on his contract the defender doesn’t appear keen on a move to Scandinavia with their spring to autumn season.

Kobayashi has yet to play a minute of competitive football this season and is probably fifth choice central defender with Brendan Rodgers clearly making an early decision by approving the signings of Maik Nawrocki and Gus Lagerbielke.

Mark Lawwell opted to sign Kobayashi as a free agent from Vissel Kobe in January 2023 with the loan deal on Moritz Jenz cut short at the same time.

Last season the 23-year-old started six matches but that run came to an end after heavy defeats at Ibrox and Easter Road after the SPFL title had been clinched.

When Cameron Carter-Vickers underwent surgery after the Scottish Cup semi-final win at the end of April there was a real opportunity for Kobayashi to impose himself on the team but his frail build never looked suited to the Scottish game.

Tomoki Iwata moved back from midfield to partner Carl Starfelt in defence for the last two matches of the season, when Celtic completed the treble by defeating Inverness Caley Thistle in the Scottish Cup Final Kobayashi failed to make the substitute bench.

Tonight Football Scotland reports:

HJK Helsinki attempted to take Yuki Kobayashi on loan from Celtic,Football Scotland understands.

The Japanese defender looked set to be one of the fringe men offloaded during the January window with his homeland and the MLS thought to be likely destinations. It has now been revealed though that the Finnish side, where the Hoops previously loaned Conor Hazard, were in for him.

It never went further than that though and Kobayashi remains at Parkhead. The Finnish transfer window remains open until next month so the move could still be resurrected if Helsinki revisit their interest in the 23-year-old.

With the prospect of a move to the MLS still live it is hardly surprising that Kobayashi has show little enthusiam for moving to Finland.

His situation is one that could be mirrored by many players at Celtic as the wastage builds up from successive failed transfer window.

Last year alone Kobayashi, Lagerbielke and Nawrocki were signed as central defenders, even without Starfelt and Carter-Vickers that trio have found themselves behind Liam Scales and Stephen Welsh in Rodgers’ first team plans.

In midfield there is a similar situation with Iwata and Odin Thiago Holm while the list of wingers accumulated is almost enough to fill a Starting XI with Sead Haksabanovic, Marco Tilio and Mikey Johnston all out on loan.

Kobatashi could yet get his move to the MLS but his situation is typical of the way players have been recruited and dismissed soon after signing their long term contracts.

CLICK HERE for Sutton’s savage attack on Brendan Rodgers.

CLICK HERE for Kobayashi’s Transfermarkt profile.

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