Rangers in ‘advanced talks’ for Notts Forest defender, former Celtic star makes Kyogo claim

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Rangers are reportedly in advanced talks with Nottingham Forest over a deal for Jonathan Panzo.

After coming through the academy system at Chelsea, the versatile defender made a surprise move to Monaco in 2018 and made a handful of appearances for the Ligue 1 club. After spending time at Cercle Brugge and Dijon, Panzo returned to England when he joined Forest in a £1m move during the January 2022 transfer window but spent the entirety of last season at Championship side Coventry City.

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The Sky Blues are believed to be keen to convert that move into a permanent deal and Panzo also has significant interest from West Bromwich Albion - but the Daily Record have now claimed Rangers are making good progress on a deal for the defender due to his connections with manager Michael Beale.

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The duo worked together during Panzo’s time at Chelsea and a reunion could be on the cards as Beale looks to add a left-sided defender to his squad ahead of the new season. The report also claims Arsenal’s Austin Trusty is also on a list of targets for the summer transfer window. Beale has already added Kieran Dowell, Dujon Sterling and Jack Butland to his squad and further new signings are planned as he looks to bolster his ranks.

Vega makes Kyogo claim amid Larsson comparison

Former Celtic defender Ramon Vega believes Kyogo Furuhashi could thrive if he follows former Hoops boss Ange Postecoglou to English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Scottish Cup Final  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Scottish Cup Final  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic celebrates after scoring the team's first goal during the Scottish Cup Final (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images) | Getty Images

The 16-times capped Japan international has become a firm favourite since joining Celtic in a £4.5m deal from July 2021 and has gone on to score 54 goals and provide 10 assists in all competitions. His form has been integral in helping the Hoops secure a league and cup double during his first season with the club and a historic treble in the season that has just passed.

The departure of Postecoglou will come as a blow for Kyogo after he forged a strong bond with the Australian - but Vega believes there is no reason the Japan star could not be a success south of the border as he compared his ability to one Celtic legend.

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Speaking to SafeBettingSites, the former Swiss international said: “There is no doubt Kyogo can go straight into the Tottenham team – whether Harry Kane stays or not. I believe Kyogo could fit into ANY team in the Premier League because he is such a good player.

“Some people have talked about his physique and that he wouldn’t cope with powerful defenders but I don’t buy into that. He has such quality and speed and a brilliant football brain. He suddenly comes from nowhere to score a goal and his finishing is so deadly.

“He is such a fantastic penalty box striker and every team in the Premier League would love a player like him. Kyogo reminds me of Henrik Larsson when I played with him in the 2001 Treble team. Henrik could do other things, but he was also so deadly when chances came to him and he would fool defenders with clever positioning and runs.

“I know the Celtic fans will go crazy if the board decides to sell him and I can understand why because he has been fantastic for them. He has been even better in his second season and he feels loved at Celtic. There is a big connection – but, of course, he could have that with Ange Postecoglou.”

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