So it’s April Fool’s Day, but Celtic fans who were after Kasper Junker aren’t laughing.
The Danish goal sensation, who we tipped for a Bhoys move in December, is headed to Japan. The former Bodø/Glimt marksman sealed a move to Urawa Red Diamonds in the J-League. Quite the surprising turn of events, given Junker’s desperation for a transfer to the UK.
TEAMtalk reported in December Celtic were keen on the player.
“He is sad. I just talked to him. He said “I’m not even angry, I just do not understand. I will be 27 in March. This was my chance. They take it from me because they want to make the [most] money”. Now we can not sign for a European club. It’s too late.”
The Japanese club confirmed the move today on Twitter.
— 浦和レッズオフィシャル (@REDSOFFICIAL) April 1, 2021
Junker told Reds supporters [Uwara-Reds]:
“I look forward to coming to Japan early and playing with my teammates. I will contribute to many wins in the future!”
Celtic striker hunt just got more difficult with surprise Kasper Junker move
To say this didn’t look on the cards earlier this year is a massive understatement. No disrespect to the J-League, of course: Lukas Podolski, Andrés Iniesta, Hulk and Gary Lineker have all enjoyed spells there. It’d be a bit “glass houses” to suggest Japan is a “pub league”, or whatever nonsense you read on social media.
But… well, it’s a bit of a surprise, wouldn’t you agree? Junker hadn’t just been linked to Celtic, but Premier League sides in England [TEAMtalk]. The Norway to Japan transfer route is hardly a common one.
From Celtic’s point of view, a very obvious transfer target has just been ruled out. We hope, genuinely, that Junker has a successful time in Japan, because he’s earned the opportunity to prosper in a different league. It’s just that Celtic fans were kind of hoping it’d be our one.
Oh well. It’s conceivable that all four of our strikers could leave in the summer. There’s a massive rebuild happening, and the experience and sheer goal volume Junker provides could’ve been a really massive boost.
In the words of the board, “we move on”.