Ange Postecoglou details Kaoru Mitoma Celtic’s transfer interests

Mitoma has put in an impressive performance at Albion this season, scoring nine goals and providing six assists in all competitions over the last five months.

The Japan international was normally brought in from the bench under Graham Potter’s helm but new life has been breathed into him since Roberto De Zerbi took over.

Mitoma’s form has led to much speculation about his name, with names including Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid, but Postecoglou has now detailed how he could have played in the Scottish Premiership.

When asked if Mitoma was a player he knows, Postecoglou explained: “Yes, I tried to get him but it was almost ready that he went to Brighton.

“He and Kyogo were the first two players I tried to bring here. Mitoma would have been a good signing but unfortunately Brighton also have a very good scouting network.

“They managed to get him but I never had any doubts that he would be another top player. He did really well down there, which didn’t surprise me.”

Postecoglou and Celtic are back in action after the international break as they travel to Dingwall to face Ross County in the Scottish Premiership.

Speaking on the importance of keeping the momentum going, the Parkhead manager explained, “We had a really strong mid-season post Worlds and before the break.

“We wanted to lay a strong foundation to finish the season, which we did. Our results were excellent and the performances just as good. We scored a lot of goals and the lads are now ready to finish strong.

“If we can finish the last part stronger than the middle part, we’ll be in a good position. That starts on Sunday. It’s always a challenge going to Ross County because Malky prepared his players so well.

“It’s always a physical game but we’ll be prepared for it. Every game will now have an advantage because all teams are playing for something.

“I’m sure every game we play, home or away, will involve a bit of desperation. But we are geared up for a grand finale, and that starts on Sunday.”

Winger Liel Abada is doubtful for the game through injury but ahead of the game Postecoglou has dismissed talk of leaving the Israel international’s transfer.

When asked if it was a similar situation to Josip Juranovic and Giorgos Giakoumakis, he added: “That’s not entirely correct in relation to Josip and Giako. The players have their future in their own hands.

“It’s about what they want to do. Some of them are at different stages of life and have different ambitions.

“I have no problem with that, it’s not about being reckless or harsh on them. It’s about understanding their needs and their wants.

“That’s fine, we’re moving on and they’re moving on to better things. That’s how I treat every case.

“Liel is very happy here. Nothing showed me that he wants to go anywhere. He just wants to be the best he can be. That’s why he works hard every day.

“Since he came to us he’s been fantastic. Sometimes other people like to speak for others, but I prefer to speak to the person themselves and get first-hand information.

“Right now, Liel is very happy here.” Ange Postecoglou details Kaoru Mitoma Celtic’s transfer interests

Russell Falcon

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