Forgotten Celtic defender linked with MLS sides as transfer exit rout opens

The Japanese centre-back has emerged as a target for two American clubs
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Flop Celtic defender Yuki Kobayashi could leave the club before the January transfer deadline - with two MLS clubs reportedly eyeing a loan swoop.

The 23-year-old centre back hasn't played a single minute of competitive football for the Scottish champions this season and has fallen completely out of the first-team picture under Brendan Rodgers, despite recurring injury problems to other players.

Now the Scottish Sun claim MLS duo FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake have both displayed an interest in taking the Japanese man on loan. The reports adds that the Hoops would be 'open' to allowing the player to leave Parkhead this month.

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Kobayashi signed a five-year deal with Celtic after arriving from J-League outfit Vissel Kobe in January 2023 under previous boss Ange Postecoglou. He made just five appearances last term and he has been unable to nail down a regular place in the starting XI.

A potential return to the homeland had been rumoured earlier in the window. Yokohama F. Marinos were linked but it seems he could now be heading Stateside, with Celtic willing to move on a number of fringe players including third-choice goalkeeper Benjamin Siegrist, forgotten midfielder James McCarthy and centre-back Gustaf Lagerbielke.

One permanent departure has already been confirmed this month after Yosuke Ideguchi completed a move to Vissel Kobe.