YUKI KOBAYASHI’S hopes of a loan return to Japan have been scuppered by Celtic.

The Hoops misfit, who hasn’t made a first-team appearance since the arrival of Brendan Rodgers in June, was wanted by J-League outfit Kashima Antlers.

They were eager to take the centre-back on a nine-month temporary deal, but the champions have decided against the switch although there still appears to be no way back for the 23-year-old defender, according to a report in the Daily Record.

NOW YOU SEE ME…Yuki Kobayashi is a rare Celtic outing against Hearts at Tynecastle last season.

Kobayashi signed a five-year contract at Parkhead after his deal at Vissel Kobe expired in January 2022 and made five appearances when Ange Postecoglou was in charge last term. However, he disappeared from the first-team picture after the 4-2 loss to Hibs at Easter Road in May which came shortly after a dismal display in a 3-0 defeat at Ibrox.

Both reverses occurred after the title had been secured and there has been no-show from the player this time around.

Kobayashi has also attracted interest from Finnish side HJK Helsinki and Major League Soccer sides Dallas and Real Salt Lake, but the Hoops also blocked those moves.

Similarly, a shift to Harry Kewell’s Yokohama F Marinos also didn’t get the go-ahead.

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