Ange Postecoglou reveals Celtic transfer frustrations as Kyogo Furuhashi arrival delayed

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has revealed that new signing Kyogo Furuhashi won’t arrive in Glasgow from Japan for up to 10 days, with the Greek-Australian admitting he was being hamstrung in his bid to reshape the squad by the drawn-out processes required for movement between countries by the pandemic.
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglu on the touchline during the friendly defeat to Preston. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)Celtic manager Ange Postecoglu on the touchline during the friendly defeat to Preston. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglu on the touchline during the friendly defeat to Preston. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

And on the back of a miserable performance that condemned his team to a 1-0 loss at home to Preston, Postecoglou notably did not provide any rallying call about how the players he does have available to him could show another side when FC Midtjylland are faced down in the Champions League second round qualifier at Celtic Park on Tuesday.

The 55-year-old was open that his squad’s efforts against the English Championship team highlighted the need for new recruits. As with Furuhashi, signed for £3.5m from Vissel Kobe on Friday, acquiring players and having them available to play is not the same.

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“Unfortunately that’s a challenge,” he said. “It’s not just about signing players it’s how we can get them in. It’s a ten-day to two-week process so that’s the challenging part at the moment, we’re not able to get people in quick enough.

“It’s just the world we live in. If we could get on a plane, go over there and do the signing. We’d all be taking photos and we’d be unveiling him here today. Unfortunately nothing like that happens any more.”

Ismaila Soro, Nir Bitton and Ryan Christie could come into contention for Tuesday’s tie, but the Celtic manager suggested it could be too early for James Forrest following his isolation period as the result of being a Covid-19 close contact. He made no bones about needing some sort of impetus, after this was missing against Preston.

“It wasn’t a great game for us,” he said. “The players worked hard as they have been in training. We have deliberately put a lot of work into them. I guess there is an element of fatigue there and they are going into games not feeling 100%. But that’s part of the process. But it wasn’t great – we didn’t get a grip and struggled through. We’ve been working hard to get the team ready. We will use the next two days to finalise our plans and hope we can put a good performance in on Tuesday.”

Defensive frailities on show against Preston won’t see Postecoglou look for a last hurrah this week from Kristoffer Ajer, despite his proposed £13.5m move to Brentford having yet to go through, as is the case with Celtic’s £4.5m move for Rubin Kazan’s Swedish defender Carl Starfelt.

“I’m not thinking about that stuff,” he said of Ajer’s situation. “The guys who are going to leave will leave, that’s not my department. I’m concentrating on what’s in front of me. He wasn’t involved today and I’m concentrating on the ones who are involved. I can’t afford to waste time on anyone other than the ones who are here and committed to being here.”

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