Details have been revealed about Celtic’s pursuit for South Korean forward Cho Gue-sung by former Manchester United star Ji Sung Park.

There was plenty of twists and turns during the Scottish league leader’s pursuit for a new forward in January as Giorgos Giakoumakis prepared to check out of Glasgow.

For most of the window, Ange Postecoglou’s side had been linked to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors star Cho Gue-sung who had impressed at the World Cup for his national side and made the knockout stages of the competition.

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou
5th February 2023; McDiarmid Park, Perth, Scotland: Scottish Premiership Football, St Johnstone versus Celtic; Celtic Manager Angelos Postecoglou applauds the fans

Bundesliga side Mainz were also reportedly interested in the forward and MLS side Minnesota United, but he decided to stay put in his homeland.

When the deal appeared to be off, Celtic were linked to 21-year-old Oh Hyeon-gyu and the deal was eventually completed. Postecoglou revealed that he was the striker that he had wanted and that the young striker had played a massive part in getting the deal done as he had a desire to play European football [Read more here].

Former Manchester United midfielder Ji Sung Park who is currently Jeonbuk’s sporting director, knows how a move to Europe can benefit a player and has revealed how he believes that a move in the summer may be better for Cho and that Celtic would be welcome to return to the table.

“Celtic participate in European competition which is a great experience for the player and Cho would get an opportunity to express himself by playing in the Scottish league,” said Park speaking exclusively to [Football Scotland].

“It would be perfect for him to improve in the future and he could stay at Celtic or Rangers which would be totally fine, or he could move on to a bigger league.

“Celtic or Rangers would be great for him to be his next step in his career. In the winter there were a few clubs interested but we didn’t make a deal, but this summer I am happy to sell him and I think he’ll be ready for his next step. First he needs to do well in our league and keep up his level, then prove it himself and I’m sure he can go to Europe in the summer.

“It wasn’t just one reason he didn’t leave in January, the transfer market is not a simple thing, it can be very complicated.

Cho Gue-sung
REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

“Staying here for now means he has time to prepare, learn the language and then in the summer he can have a pre-season with a team which would be a benefit for him.

“I didn’t speak with Celtic directly, we got an offer from an agent (working on their behalf), so I don’t know about that. I spoke with Mainz directly, that’s the only difference. If he’d preferred something I’d think probably Europe but it’s up to him and his career. In the winter it’s not the main market so that would be one reason.

“He didn’t prefer any club at that moment, Mainz was the rumour, but I’m not sure that’s true.

“Celtic is a great club and many in Europe and Asia know that.

“They are the leading club in Scotland so probably they’ll join the Champions League or Europa League. The Scottish league I know there are some Japanese players there and there have been Korean players in Ki Sung Yeung and Cha Du Ri so I think it’s great to play in Scotland, great for Asian players.

“Not going straight to the Premier League or one of the top five leagues, that could be better for him to adapt to the standard. There’s a path to succeed for Asian players, like Cho.

“We don’t know yet which clubs will keep an interest in him in the summer, we’ll have to wait and see, but obviously if Celtic want to submit another offer for Cho in the summer they’re more than welcome.

“I don’t judge any club for him, we just have to see which clubs want him and from that the player will choose. I can advise him to which club will be more suited to him but it’s up to him. If Celtic – or Rangers – come in I would recommend.”





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