Midfield target denies Celtic transfer talks as South Korean star reaffirms European ambitions
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Celtic midfield target Jeong Ho-yeon has played down any rumours that he is locked in talks with the Scottish champions as the January transfer deadline looms.
The 23-year-old - last season's K-League 1 Young Player of the Year - was previously linked with the Hoops last summer after his rapid rise with Gwangju. He declared that he was aware of Celtic's interest through his agent after outlining his ambition of sealing a move to a European club.
With Brendan Rodgers' still hunting for reinforcements this month in a bid to strengthen their title bid, Jeong reaffirmed his desire to swap South Korea for Europe but insists he has NOT heard anything about a potential move to Glasgow.
Gwangju boss Lee Jung-Hyo had warned Jeong to avoid finding himself in a "clumsy situation" by moving to Scotland too early in his career, but it's clear the player is eager to test himself in a different environment.
"I haven’t heard anything about a move to Celtic," the Gwangju star told Jeonnam Ilbo. "But the dream of challenging myself abroad is an ongoing process. I want to know where I stand and how I am viewed when I am in a new environment, and it will be an opportunity to mature as a player."
Jeong's compatriots Oh Hyeon-gyu, Kwon Hyeok-kyu and Yang Hyun-jun were previously snapped up by Celtic but all three players have struggled to nail down a regular starting spot. The Parkhead club remain without the services of key midfielder Reo Hatate for the coming weeks with the Asian Cup in fully swing.