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Who exactly is Kanji Okunuki? Celtic’s scouting subject is in the spotlight after Hearts completed summer research on Japanese sensation

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Brendan Rodgers wishes reinforcements in January and the champions have reportedly been observing the Nurnberg attacker.

It should come as no shock that Celtic have been linked with any other Japanese talent.

The Hoops have reportedly been scouting Kanji Okunuki “intensively” over the final few weeks after playing massive success plundering the Japanese participant market below Ange Postecoglou. Kyogo is the primary man whilst compatriots Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda are key participants of the squad, with Brendan Rodgers persevering with to rely heavily on them notwithstanding a change in style when you consider that the Aussie’s departure. Tomoki Iwata stays on the fringes, however scored his first intention for the membership towards Hearts remaining month and looks like he has something to offer.

Yuki Kobayashi looks like he should be on his way out, failing to be quoted even all through a central defensive harm crisis, solely named on the bench once this season. Yosuke ideguchi has grow to be something of a forgotten man out on loan at Avispa Fukuoka again in Japan, although nonetheless has over two years left to run on his Celtic contract.

Okunuki ought to be the cutting-edge Japanese import to swell the ranks. But who is he and what would he add? Record Sport takes a nearer look.

Who is Kanji Okunuki?

The 24-year-old was once born in Saitama and advanced thru the youth ranks with local membership Omiya Ardija earlier than graduating to the pinnacle team in January 2018. 14 goals in almost 100 appearances caught the interest of Gornik Zabrze of Poland. He joined the Ekstraklasa membership on a season-long mortgage in August 2022, which blanketed an choice to make the deal permanent.

However, that wasn’t taken up and Okunuki joined Nurnberg ultimate summer. He’s scored four goals in 15 appearances for the Bundesliga two outfit and received his first call up to the Japan squad last month, however is yet to make his debut for the Samurai Blue.

What type of player is he?

Okunuki is right footed but performs on the left. With Liel Abada out injured and Yang set to join Oh in the South Korea squad for the Asian Cup, that ought to come in handy. He can also operate in the No 10 position and as a 2d striker, even though it is a No. 9 Brendan Rodgers virtually wants with Kyogo additionally set to be away with his country.

With nearly four possession recoveries in the opposition’s 1/2 per game, Okunuki would show up to suit Celtic’s urgent style, even if it’s no longer as extreme as it was once under Ange. He has two assists this season, though that quantity would be expected to go up playing in a crew like eltic’s, which dominates most video games and create extra chances.

Haven’t we heard his name before?

Yes, he was closely linked with Hearts last summer time before making the move to Germany. The Jambos had been in the market for a 2d striker or attacking midfielder and Okunuki healthy the invoice after Yutaro Oda impressed after an preliminary settling in period. However, a quoted price of £400,000 made him an luxurious proposition for the Tynecastle club and after an initial enquiry, there was no concrete approach, which allowed Nurnberg to get their man.

That kind of charge would not have been an difficulty for Celtic. However, Nurnberg’s willingness to let him depart and what kind of rate they would be looking for remains to be seen.

Conor McGregor praises the Green Brigade tifo as he unveils Celtic plans

Conor McGregor has said that he hopes to visit Celtic Park one day.

The UFC fighter used to social media to applaud a fan display put on by the Green Brigade several years ago as part of an online Q&A.

McGregor is a big Celtic fan, and he hasn’t been shy about admitting it.

During Kierney’s first stint under Brendan Rodgers, he formed a strong friendship with him.

This is incredible! Hopefully one day for sure! https://t.co/mpIDS40Val

— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 15, 2023

His fellow Celtic fans have also been major followers of the MMA fighter.

McGregor was mentioned in a banner raised by the Green Brigade ahead of Celtic’s 5-0 triumph against Astana in Champions League qualifying.

His catchphrase, which he employed after defeating Diego Brandao in 2014, was “We’re not here to take part, we’re here to take over!”

He earlier stated about the banner, “Celtic Football Club STAND UP!!!” This is what die-hard fan support looks like! What an amazing sight! What a group! Thank you very much!”

Now, in response to a fan on X, the 35-year-old addressed the famous banner once more and disclosed his plans to attend a Parkhead game.

“Any plans to visit Celtic Park in the future?” inquired one user. I’m sure you’d be greeted as a hero by all your brethren from across the pond. I’m sure Kieran Tierney would be pleased.”

“This is incredible!” exclaimed the Notorious B.I.G. Hopefully, one day!”

Gustaf Lagerbielke, however, almost signed for a “half-assed team in Belgium” before joining Celtic.

Elfsborg managing director Stefan Andreasson says the 23-year-old may have lost out on a transfer to Parkhead.

Lagerbielke joined the Scottish champions for £3 million during the summer transfer window and was thrust into the starting lineup in August due to an injury issue at center-back.

However, after the return of Cameron Carter-Vickers, he has failed to keep a regular starting spot on the team.

‘Amaizing’: Pundit believes Celtic have a 22-year-old player who is ‘frightening’

Celtic have a quantity of players proper now who are continuing to provoke pundits, media people and fans this season.

Luis Palma is certainly the man of the moment at Celtic right now as the Honduran enjoys the adulation of the supporters and his country’s media.

Kyogo Furuhashi’s goalscoring exploits proceed to impress as the Japanese striker netted as soon as more at the weekend.

But a pundit has been sincerely blown away with Celtic midfielder, Matt O’Riley this season. The 22-year-old has been in scintillating shape for Brendan Rodgers.

O’Riley’s goalscoring has extended so much under the Celtic manager this season that he has been attracting the interest from the likes of Spurs.

Former Scotland striker, Kevin Kyle, has admitted that he is a huge admirer of O’Riley and says that the midfielder is so good, it’s frightening.

Kyle stated [Open Goal], “You understand who I think is amazing? The boy [Matt] O’Riley is frightening. Callum McGregor is simply shoring the whole thing up and O’Riley simply goes anywhere he wants.

“But it’s how he takes the ball, how he receives it. He’s constantly on the half-turn. I don’t know.

“There’s being affected person but it’s his off-the-ball movement that permits him to get the opportunities.”

O’Riley’s form for Celtic has meant that he has already had to put up with some heavy switch hypothesis this season.

TBR Celtic shared this afternoon how Crystal Palace now keep an interest in O’Riley with reports claiming that any bids north of £10m will be ample to make Celtic think about accepting.

Yeah, £10m and the rest. Recently being valued at well over £12m, the amount of interest the Danish u21 international is attracting ability that any fee Celtic will ultimately acquire for O’Riley is likely to be north of £20m and more.

No doubt the nearer we get to the January window, the greater speculation we’ll hear about O’Riley however at least Celtic are secure in the know-how that after signing a new 5-year deal at the club, Celtic can demand top dollar for their prized asset.

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