[Exclusive] Gangwon’s Yang Hyun-jun and Busan’s Kwon Hyuk-kyu join Celtic to form ‘Celtic-Korean trio’ with Oh Hyun-gyu

After the ‘flower boy’ striker Cho Kyu-sung (Meatwillan), another European has been born. Not one, but two. Gangwon FC ace Yang Hyun-joon (21) and Busan I-Park core midfielder Kwon Hyuk-kyu (22) will move to Scotland’s most prestigious club, Celtic FC, together.먹튀검증

A transfer market official said on the 14th, “Yang Hyun-joon’s transfer to Celtic has been confirmed. After long negotiations, the two clubs reached an agreement.” “Celtic also made an offer to Busan for Kwon Hyuk-kyu. They offered a transfer fee of 1 million euros (approximately 1.42 billion won), an increase from last winter’s offer. We understand that Busan are looking positively at moving to Europe. There is a high probability that the transfer will be completed.”

The big news comes just over a week before the end of the K League transfer window. Celtic, who signed Oh Hyun-gyu, 22, from Suwon Samsung last winter, have set their sights on a move for the 2002-born flanker this summer. Celtic’s asking price is reportedly in the region of €2.5 million.

Initially, the club and the player disagreed over the timing of the transfer. Gangwon, who are fighting to stay up, wanted the move to happen in the winter at the end of the season, while Yang wanted it to happen this summer. On the fifth of July, when the conflict was deepening, Kangwon CEO Kim Byung-ji and Yang Hyun-joon met in person to resolve the misunderstanding. After the meeting, Kangwon withdrew the ‘no summer transfer policy’ in a grandiose move, allowing Celtic to conclude negotiations. Even after the meeting with Kim, Yang Hyun-joon did his best to wear the Gangwon jersey as promised. After making his professional debut for Gangwon in 2021, Yang made 21 appearances this season, scoring one goal and providing one assist.

In the final days of the K League One transfer window, Kwon Hyuk-gyu’s surprise move to Celtic emerged. Kwon was a key target for Celtic, who have been aggressively pursuing talented young Asian players such as Oh Hyun-gyu, Furuhashi Kyogo, Maeda Daizen and Hatate Leo. They made a ‘first offer’ in December last year. It wasn’t just an expression of interest, but a substantial transfer fee. At the time, the transfer did not go through due to the club’s circumstances. Kwon didn’t disappoint and has shown a more mature performance in the K League 2 this season. The defensive midfielder made 19 appearances and scored two goals. He has been nicknamed the “Rodri (Man City) of the K-League” due to his excellent physique (1m90-83kg) and stable ball control.

Celtic, who have had their eye on Kwon since his time with Gimcheon Sangmu (2021-2022), didn’t give up on signing him and approached him again this summer. Having won the Domestic Treble last season, Celtic reached out again as part of their midfield reinforcement plans ahead of the 2023-2024 season. It is understood that they have increased their offer from last winter. Kwon, who made his debut for Busan in 2019, will become the first player from the Busan youth ranks to go directly to Europe.

Photo=Korea Professional Football Association

Photo=Korea Professional Football Association

If Yang Hyun-joon joins Kwon, there will be three South Koreans at Celtic under new manager Brendan Rodgers next season. Forward Oh Hyun-gyu, flanker Yang Hyun-joon and central midfielder Kwon Hyuk-gyu could all be on the pitch at the same time. While Korean duos such as Park Ji-Sung and Lee Young-Pyo (PSV Eindhoven), Ki Sung-Yong and Chaduri (Celtic), and Koo Ja-Cheol and Ji Dong-Won (Augsburg) have played together, it is unusual for a Korean trio to play together in Europe.

Yang Hyun-joon Kwon Hyuk-kyu is reportedly likely to be involved from Celtic’s pre-season tour of Japan. Celtic will play their first game of the Japan tour against Yokohama F.Marinos in Yokohama on the 19th.

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