ANGE POSTECOGLOU admits he “lives in hope” of adding new signings to his Celtic squad within the next week.
The Hoops boss has brought in five recruits since his arrival in June and has now been linked with Croatian defender Josip Juranovic and French striker Thomas Henry.
Postecoglou is closing in on the 26-year-old international right-back who is rated in the £3million range and has been told he can leave Legia Warsaw after their Champions League elimination against Dinamo Zagreb.
Frontman Henry is valued in the £7.5million bracket by his Blegian club, OH Leuven, but the Hoops have to take into condideration the possibility of Odsonne Edouard not leaving in this transfer window and leaving as a free agent in June next year, as CQN reported earlier this week.
Postecoglou had been eyeing Royal Antwerp’s No.2 Aurelio Buta, but will not get drawn into a bidding war with Everton as the Portuguese Under-21 star’s fee begins to rise and the interest in Sheffield United’s George Baldock is over with Burnley poised to pay £8million.
HAMPDEN CELEBRATIONS…Celtic target Josip Juranovic prepares to congratulate Croatian team-mate Luka Modric after the second goal in their 3-1 win over Scotland in the Euros in June.
Anthony Ralston is the club’s only recognised right-back at the moment and Juranovic, who played for his country in their 3-1 win over Scotland in the Euros at Hampden in the summer, is now in sharp focus.
Manchester City central defender Ko Itakura, a Japanese international team-mate of new Bhoy Kyogo Furuhashi, also remains on the wanted list with the middle of the rearguard still a problem area with Christopher Jullien not exppected back until October at the earliest after his horrendous knee injury in the 3-0 win over Dundee United at Parkhead on December 30.
Th 27-year-old Etihad back-four performer had a successful spell on loan in the Netherlands last season with Groningen and the Hoops are hoping to take him on another temporary transfer.
Postecoglou is remaining tightlipped on the transfer front, but admitted he is aiming to have a couple of new signings in place soon.
He said: “There’s always a possibility and I live in hope. We’ll leave it at that.”
TARGET MAN…striker Thomas Henry is on the wanted list.
His sights are on Jablonec at a sell-out Parkhead tonight and, after last week’s 4-2 triumph in the Czech Republic, getting the job done to set up a Europa League play-off clash with Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar.
Postecoglou said: “I’d be very surprised if anyone is complacent in this place at the moment. We’re far from being a team where we can sort of relax at any stage.
“We’re just beginning. We’ve had a couple of good performances, but, for me, it’s about being consistent in our football and in our approach.
“And that’s a long way away. I don’t think there will be any complacency and I guess if anyone does when they walk out in front of 60,000 I think that will snap them back into making sure there’s a concerted effort to build on what we’ve started.”
The manager insisted his team must maintain momentum on the back of Sunday’s 6-0 rout of Dundee when Furuhashi marked his debut in the east end of Glasgow with a spectacular hat-trick.
POSITIVE VIBES…Ange Postecoglou is looking for another top performance at a packed Parkhead tonight.
Postecoglou, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “It’s fair to say Sunday had a positive impact, for sure.
“Obviously, the result was great, but the performance was also encouraging because it had elements of the kind of football we want to play.
“There’s an opportunity to build momentum because of the circumstances. The last two games have obviously gone well.
“Being a European fixture with a full house, it’s a unique set of circumstances that we want to take advantage of because I think if we can have another positive performance and get a positive result it creates a good atmosphere moving forward and gives everyone encouragement – the players and our supporters.”
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