Celtic would be “bonkers” to sell Giorgos Giakoumakis at such a vital stage in the season if the reported fee is correct, according to former Hoops star Chris Sutton.
Urawa Red Diamonds are believed to be discussing personal terms with the Greece forward after agreeing a fee of around £3.5m.
Italian journalist, and renowned transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano reported the deal on Monday, leading to dismay among many Celtic fans who believe the price is too low for a proven Premiership goal scorer.
The striker, who joined Celtic from Dutch side VVV Venlo 18 months ago, has been linked with a number of clubs throughout January including sides from Italy and USA.
Romano claimed Urawa had agreed a fee but Major League Soccer side Atlanta were also still interested.
Reports in Japan have claimed Urawa are likely to sign the 28-year-old although personal terms have still to be finalised.
Giakoumakis scored Celtic’s second goal in their 2-0 League Cup semi-final win over Kilmarnock on Saturday.
He later posted a photo of his celebrations on Instagram with a caption that read: “Enjoy every moment like it’s your last! On to the final.! Thank you for the immense support.”
Sutton reacted to Romano’s tweet by writing: “I’m not sure what goes on behind the scenes and who maybe coming in the door but this seems bonkers letting Giakoumakis go right now for such a small fee… there’s a league to win!”
Giakoumakis has scored 26 goals in Scotland despite struggling with a knee injury in his opening months.
He has found regular starts hard to come by this season – his last came on November 5 against Dundee United – with his usual role being a substitute for top scorer Kyogo Furuhashi.
Celtic have been linked with possible moves for South Korea striker Cho Gue-sung and 20-year-old Gornik Zabrze forward Szymon Wlodarczyk.