CELTIC TRANSFER TWO-STEP

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GIORGOS GIAKOUMAKIS out…Kevin Nisbet in.

News yesterday that the Greek striker’s proposed move to J-League outfit Orawa Red Diamonds was just about done and dusted has proved to be a bit premature.

Details of any deal have still to be thrashed out, but there seems little doubt that Giakoumakis has no part to play in the future of Celtic.

As the 28-year-old frontman, bought for £2.5million from Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo in August 2021, heads for the Hoops exit, there are reports he could be replaced by Hibs hitman Nisbet, who is three years his junior.

MOVE OVER…Kevin Nisbet and Nir Bitton duel for possession during Celtic’s 2-1 win over Hibs in the Premier Sports League Cup Final at Hampden in December 2021.

The 10 times-capped Scotland international raider, who has netted seven goals in six comeback games for the Easter Road side, is back on Ange Postecoglou’s radar, according to the Scottish Sun.

Nisbet interested the Hoops two years ago – as CQN revealed in a report in July 2021 – before his career was derailed with a cruciate tear, but he has stormed back from injury and his timing could be perfect with the champion searching for a replacement for Giakoumakis.

And thoughts about following up their initial interest for South Korean World Cup striker Cho Gue-sung appear to have been ditched and the Glaswegian is now in focus after his return to fitness and goalscoring form.

Nisbet is entering the final 18 months of his deal with the Edinburgh outfit and boss Lee Johnson is keen for club to make him an offer to extend his stay.

THE LAST HURRAH…Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrates his stoppage-time strike against Kilmarnock in the Viaplay League Cup which could turn out to be his final goal for Celtic.

Giakoumakis, who has netted nine goals this season, is clearly unhappy at playing back-up to Kyogo Furuhashi and he’s on his way.

His representative is expected in Glasgow this week to further negotiations with the Hoops hierarchy to rubber-stamp his player’s departure.

The powerhouse attacker, who netted the crucial second goal in the 2-0 Viaplay semi-final win over Kilmarnck at the weekend, has also been linked with MLS club Atalanta United with Sampdoria’s attempt to take him on loan with a view to buy in the summer already doomed, as CQN reported last week.

It is believed the champions had a spy at Easter Road at the weekend to watch Nisbet score two excellent goals in the 2-2 draw with Dundee United.

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