Japanese report: Celtic will land first J League target "by end of year"

By Euan Davidson

December 9, 2021

According to a report, the wheels are in motion for Celtic to sign Yosuke Ideguchi from J League Gamba Osaka.

A report from Japanese outlet Sponichi Annex stated that a fee between the clubs, of around £857,000, has been agreed. Ideguchi, according to the report, will undergo a medical “by the end of the year”.

The former Leeds United man has been a star for Gamba Osaka. A central midfielder, Ideguchi made 29 appearances in the J League this season [Transfermarkt]. He has prior European experience, and though he didn’t play for Leeds United, he was effective for Cultural Leonesa and Greuther Fürth in Spain and Germany respectively.

Photo by Hiroki Watanabe – JL/Getty Images for DAZN

At 25, Ideguchi still has plenty to prove to European doubters. No question, the chance to revitalise his career on these shores is an attractive proposition for the midfielder.

There are still Visa issues to iron out, say Sponichi Annex. But with Ideguchi’s prior move to Britain, and his 15 caps for Japan, those issues ought to be a formality.

Celtic have also been linked with J League stars Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda, of Kawasaki Frontale and Yokohama F Marinos respectively.

Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues

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Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues
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Celtic look to begin J League haul with Ideguchi signing

The Bhoys look primed to make a number of additions from the J League this season. With Kyogo Furuhashi already a massive hit, it makes total sense. Especially when you include Ange Postecoglou’s knowledge from having won a J League title.

There’s talent there. Ideguchi, though, is particularly interesting. A number 8 by trade, the former Leeds United man looks like sturdy competition in the midfield.

Analysis from The Athletic describes Ideguchi as a “box-to-box” midfielder, with “plenty of aggression”. That sounds pretty ideal from a squad building perspective.

Photo by Masahiro Ura – JL/Getty Images for DAZN

He may not start as a first-team player. But depth in the middle of the park is absolutely essential for the style Postecoglou wants to play. David Turnbull, Tom Rogic and Callum McGregor have been largely excellent, but they can’t be expected to play 90 minutes of every game.

Exciting times for Celtic, then. With December already in full-flow, we could see some real transfer movement in the weeks to come.

Watch out J League, Celtic are coming.

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