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Celtic: Ange Postecoglou dealt blow in Gue-sung Cho pursuit

Celtic have been dealt a huge blow in their attempts to bring Gue-sung Cho to Parkhead in the January transfer window.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by the Daily Record, who claim that Ange Postecoglou and his side now find themselves behind Mainz in the race to land the Jeonbuk centre-forward this winter, with the Bundesliga outfit said to have submitted an official £3m bid for the 24-year-old.

The report adds that, with Mainz already having Cho’s South Korean team-mate Jae-sung Lee in their first-team squad, the German club are hoping that this will help to convince the 20-cap international of a move to the MEWA Arena ahead of the Premiership champions in the January market.

Dream Giakoumakis heir

Considering just how impressive Cho was for both club and country in 2022, coupled with Giorgos Giakoumakis reportedly being tempted by a move away from Parkhead this winter, the argument that Postecoglou simply must do everything in his power to beat Mainz to the signing of the striker this winter is a very easy one to make.

Indeed, over his 31 K League 1 appearances this season, the £2.2m-rated talent was in devastating attacking form, scoring 17 goals, registering five assists and creating five big chances for his team-mates. He also averaged 3.3 shots – 1.5 of which hit the target – made 1.2 key passes and completed 0.5 dribbles per game.

These returns saw the 24-year-old average a simply sensational Sofascore match rating of 7.33, not only ranking him as Jeonbuk’s best performer in the league but also as the fourth-best player in the South Korean top flight as a whole.

The centre-forward also impressed over his four appearances at the World Cup this winter, scoring two goals and taking 2.3 shots – 1.3 of which hit the target – per game. These metrics saw the player nicknamed “Worldstar Guesung” average an eye-catching Sofascore match rating of 7.03, ranking him as South Korea’s second-best player at the tournament.

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As such, should Giakoumakis indeed move onto pastures new this month, it would very much appear as if Cho would represent something of a dream replacement for the Greece international at Parkhead, leading us to believe that Postecoglou simply must better Mainz’s offer for the Jeonbuk hitman.