A NEW twist has emerged in the Giorgos Giakoumakis transfer saga as the clock ticks towards the transfer deadline.

The Greek international striker has until late on Tuesday evening – midnight in Scotland – to get a deal done otherwise he will remain at Celtic.

It looked as though Giakoumakis was heading Stateside when Atlanta United made their move earlier this week, but the MLS outfit modified their offer and the champions have told them they are NOT interested in a loan-to-buy deal for the player who cost £2.5million when he arrived in August 2021 on a five-year contract.

GROUNDED…Giorgos Giakoumakis hits the deck after missing the target.

It’s a similar to the one proposed by Sampdoria, but CQN revealed over a fortnight ago there was no chance of the Hoops accepting such terms and the relegation-threatened Serie A outfit were told to reconsider their bid. They have yet to return to the negotiation table.

Ange Postecoglou’s side have no intention of doing business without immediate guarantees and the position is simple – if someone wants to buy their player the bidding club must meet their asking price.

If not, it’s no deal. Tales of Giakoumakis agreeing deals elsewhere are way off the mark. As it stands, he or his agent can only talk to interested clubs if they have received permission from Celtic.

The powerhouse frontman has been told that unless an improved offer is received – and J-League outfit Urawa Red Diamonds are still in the hunt – he will continue his career in Glasgow until the summer, at least, according to a report in the Daily Record.

It’s clear that Giakoumakis, who has claimed 26 strikes in 57 appearances for the Hoops, is unhappy at playing back-up to Postecoglou’s first choice Kyogo Furuhashi, scorer of 40 goals in his 18 months, which has been the catalyst for the player’s unrest.

He made 30 starts in 34 Eredivisie games for VVV-Venlo – claiming 26 strikes – in the season prior to his switch to Celtic.

HAMPDEN HALLELUJAH…Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrates his goal in the 2-0 Viaplay League Cup semi-final win over Kilmarnock.

Giakoumakis now has to contend with losing automatic first-team status to back-up striker and it’s obviously not a situation he is embracing with any enthusiasm.

With this week’s £2.5million arrival of South Korean international hitman Oh Hyeon-gyu, seven years his junior, he faces additional competition for a place in Postecoglou’s top side.

The solution, of course, is a transfer, but that can only be given the green light from the selling club when the price is right.

Giakoumakis has reached the crossroads in a crucial stage of his career with less than a week to sort out his immediate future.

The next few days promise to be pivotal to the player’s ambitions.

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