Dean Jones has told Give Me Sport that he expects Celtic to conclude a bid to capture Vissel Kobe defender Yuki Kobayashi – with rumours disputing over whether Celtic would really have to pay anything to get the left-footer.

Since joining a Japanese powerhouse, 22-year-old Kobayashi has excelled. 78 J-League appearances. Vissel Kobe ended 13th, but the youthful centre-back was one of his greatest players in 2022.

Kyogo Furuhashi was his Vissel Kobe teammate. TransferMarkt also claims he is represented by Celtic’s Yosuke Ideguchi agent. Celtic wants Kobayashi for defensive depth.

Value reports vary. TransferMarkt and Nikkan Sports predict Celtic will acquire him for free once his contract expires in January. The Scottish Express claims a deal will cost Celtic £1.5million.

Jones believes the deal will go through:

“This one should go ahead, and Celtic fans should be excited by it. He’ll add a real steel to the squad and the team. He can also dictate games, which will be really interesting to see.”

Celtic need a centre defender? Cameron Carter-Vickers, Carl Starfelt, Moritz Jenz, and Stephen Welsh cover. Celtic has several games left.

European football will fade after Christmas. Jenz is loaned but anticipated to sign permanently. Kobayashi will provide Celtic with a left-sided defender and potential.

It’s worth signing him for £1.5million or free. Celtic have won with Kyogo, Daizen Maeda, and Reo Hatate. Not Ideguchi. Kobayashi seems talented.