ANGE POSTECOGLOU cleared up Giorgos Giakoumakis’ no-show mystery in the 4-0 Premiership romp at Parkhead last night.
The Greek striker was missing from the Celtic gaffer’s match day squad which triggered speculation he was already on his way from the champions.
However, Postecoglou was swift to dismiss an early exit for Giakoumakis and revealed he could even play in the Scottish Cup opener against Championship outfit Morton in Glasgow on Saturday.
THE THINKER…Ange Postecoglou is already pondering over his Celtic squad for Saturday’s Scottish Cup-tie against Morton. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
The manager insisted the frontman, who scored his ninth goal of the season in the 2-0 Viaplay Cup victory over Kilmarnock at the weekend, had sustained an injury at Hampden.
Defenders Cameron Carter-Vickers and Alexandro Bernabei were also missing from last night’s 20-man squad and Postecoglou explained: “Giakoumakis and Carter-Vickers pulled up sore from the weekend.
“At a stretch, Giako might be available for Saturday. Cam probably will be, but we’ll probably still rest him for Saturday even though it’s nothing significant.
“Berna, I just thought I’d rest him because he’s had two big games. He’ll be back in on Saturday.”
Asked if he felt Giakoumakis could still figure against the Cappielow club, the Greek-Australian, speaking to the Scottish Sun, answered: “I see no reason why not.
“I just deal with what is in front of me and until I’m told otherwise or something significant happens…
“He was here tonight, mate, so you could have asked him yourself!
HANDS UP…Giorgos Giakoumakis could return for the Scottish Cup opener.
“He’s still very much part of our set-up, I’m not playing ducks and drakes.
“He would have been involved tonight if he wasn’t injured.”
The frontman would have seen much to admire from the Parkhead stand as Kyogo Furuhashi netted a double to take this term’s goal tally to 18 while Liel Abada and David Turnbull chipped in with the others.
Giakoumakis knocked back the offer of an enhanced contract from the Hoops before the turn of the year and has been linked heavily with cash-rich J-League outfit Orawa Red Diamonds.
The 28-year-old international striker is under contract at Parkhead until June 2026, but it is still unlikely he will be in Scotland before February kicks off.