CELTIC have been linked with South Korea’s World Cup striker Cho Gue-sung as reports claim Giorgos Giakoumakis has rejected a contract extension.

Right-back Alistair Johnston is on his way to the champions once Canada’s interest in the soccer showpiece in Qatar officially ends against Morocco this afternoon after losing their opening two games to Belgium (0-1) and Croatia (1-4).

Now 24-year-old Cho is being lined up to join the CF Montreal defender at Parkhead in a month’s time.

AIMING HIGH…Cho Gue-sung in action for South Korea in Qatar.

The 6ft 2in forward hit the headlines at the start of the week with an impressive double in his country’s 3-2 loss to Ghana which has alerted European scouts.

Cho is well known to Ange Postecoglou who has tracked his progress ever since he scored against his Yokohama F Marinos team in the Asian Champions League in February 2020, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.

Now the Hoops gaffer is ready to make his move for the player who has had a convincing campaign in Korea with 21 goals in 35 games in all competitions for current side Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and army team Gimcheon Sangmu.

Cho had moved there on a temporary transfer to complete his mandatory military service before returning to his parent club for the second half of the campaign.

The towering attack-leader, who has claimed six goals in 18 international appearances, will go into the shop window again when he plays against Portugal tomorrow afternoon.

NET PROFIT…Giorgos Giakoumakis nets the stoppage-time winner against St Johnstone in Perth in October.

The interest from the champions in Cho breaks at the same time there are reports about Giakoumakis following Josip Juranovic in knocking back a contract extension at the club.

The 27-year-old Greek international is under contract until June 2026 after joining in a £2.5million switch from Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo in August last year.

Giakoumakis completed his debut campaign with 19 goals – one behind Kyogo Furuhashi – in all competitions after a slow start.

He has netted eight strikes this time around and negotiations are likely to continue with both parties seeking a resolution.

However, Postecoglou has already made it clear that if players are not happy he will not stand in their way and is actively seeking recruitments to have in place for the turn of the year.

The Greek-Australian has already signed Vissel Kobe central defender Yuki Kobayashi who is expected at Lennoxtown this month before the deal is rubber-stamped on January 1 2023.

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