CELTIC will step up their striker search as the clock ticks down on the January transfer window.

Brendan Rodgers stated the champions were in the market for a new frontman, despite the fact Kyogo Furuhashi would be available after his shock omission from the Japanese international squad for the Asian Cup that kicks off on Sunday.

At the moment, Oh Hyeon-gyu is the only back-up and the powerhouse hitman, who signed in January last year in a £2million deal from Suwon Samsung Bluewings, is currently with South Korea in Qatar for the competition with the Final scheduled for February 14.

HIT…Kyogo Furuhashi releases his remarkable drive for Celtic’s second goal in the derby at Parkhead last month with Connor Goldson helpless and keeper Jack Butland about to pick the ball out of his net.

MISS…Kyogo Furuhashi clips the ball wide of keeper Trevor Carson and also the post in Celtic’s 3-0 win over Dundee at Dens Park on Boxing Day.

The 22-year-old has scored five goals in 20 appearances this season, but it appears clear to the manager he is not ready for the rigours of regular first-team demands at the moment.

Former Hoops defender Mark Wilson agrees and, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “I’d like to see Celtic add a striker to lighten the load on Kyogo.

“I’m not too sure Oh is the answer. He’s had a year here and is still young, but I think they need someone to really push Kyogo.”

OOPS…Oh Hyeon-gyu fails to connect with a right-wing cross in Celtic’s 2-1 loss to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Oh claimed his first goal for the club in a 5-1 Scottish Cup win over St Mirren at Parkhead in February last year and claimed six before the end of the campaign, including a double in the 5-0 victory over Aberdeen in the final league game.

Kyogo went into double figures this time around with his breathtaking derby winner on December 30, but that is five short of his previous totals at this time of the season since his £4.6million arrival from Vissel Kobe in August 2021.

Rodgers is aware the pacy raider needs someone to share the goalscoring burden and an addition to the firing squad is seen as a priority in this window.


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