Kyogo Furuhashi: Confusion over Celtic star's chances of facing Rangers

Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu says he does not know whether he will have Celtic forward Kyogo Furuhashi available for key World Cup qualifiers.

Kyogo Furuhashi may miss Celtic's clash with Rangers.
Kyogo Furuhashi may miss Celtic's clash with Rangers.

Japan are due to take on China on January 27 and Saudi Arabia on February 1, but it is unclear whether their squad will be made up solely of J-League players.

Koji Sorimachi, the head of the Japanese FA, earlier this month intimated that only domestic players would be considered for the double-header given the spread of the omicron coronavirus variant and restrictions put in by the Japanese government on overseas people arriving into the country.

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However, it appears that no firm decision has been made, which will concern Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou given that a call-up would rule Furuhashi out of the rescheduled Old Firm clash on February 2.

“I am very worried about the situation for the qualifiers,” Hajime said.

“I have no choice but to follow the government directives for the games so I have to wait until nearer the ties to decide on the squad.

“We obviously want to select our strongest team and I hope to find a solution to the matter.

“The sooner the situation is concluded, the better it is for me to prepare.”

The situation could get even more complicated for Celtic should they, as expected, complete the signings of three other Japanese players next month.

Yokohama F Marinos forward Daizen Maeda, Kawasaki Frontale utility man Reo Hatate and Gamba Osaka box-to-box midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi are all heavily linked with a move to Celtic and are in the current Japan set-up.

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