ANGE POSTECOGLOU fears that Celtic will be without Jota for the League Cup Final, with the winger a major doubt to play again this side of the winter break.

The 22-year-old picked up a hamstring injury in Thursday night’s win over Hearts at Celtic Park, and when asked about his condition after the 3-0 win against Dundee United at Tannadice, the Celtic manager was pessimistic about his chances of recovering in time even for the game against Rangers on January 2nd.

“It’s hard to say,” Postecoglou said. “We’re saying a few weeks at the moment and he’s obviously keen to come back. But out of the three [injuries picked up on Thursday] he was the most significant injury.

“It’s a blow because, apart from the team aspect, he was enjoying his football and wanted to kick on. So it’s a little bit of a blow for him.

“He’ll work hard in rehab and we’ll try to get him back as soon as we can.”

Meanwhile, Postecoglou has hinted that he is looking to broaden his search for players from the Asian market beyond Japan, admitting that the Korean league is one that interests him.

Celtic have been linked with moves for Japanese players Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi in the January window, but while Postecoglou would neither confirm nor deny that interest, he was happy to discuss his wider recruitment strategy.

“Myself, Michael (Nicholson), all the key people at the football club, we’re working really hard. We want to be well organised and get the right players in.

“I know what we need in terms of making our squad a bit more well-rounded and robust for a challenging second half of the year.

“We’ll just keep working away. No deals are done yet, nothing’s been signed. I know people get excited about names and I’ve probably been linked with the whole of the J-League. There’s also the Korean league that is decent, if you want to go fishing there. There will be plenty of names.

“From my perspective, we know what we need – and I’m fairly confident we‘ll get them in and get them in early.

“I don’t want to say that [the Asian market is overlooked] – because everyone will go there and start looking. I’m obviously at an advantage because I worked there.

“It would be silly of me not to use the experience I have and the knowledge I have. That’s why we got Kyogo here. I was 100 per cent certain he would do well, especially with the way we play.

“And it’s not just Kyogo. If you look at all the big leagues around the world, you’ll see Asian players.

“Not just from Japan but from Korea, from Australia, from Iran. There are some very good footballers on that side of the world.

“But if people don’t want to look there, I’m happy to be the only one.”

James Forrest came off injured at half-time in the win over United, but Postecoglou played down any fears that yet another of his wingers would be sidelined.

“I’m hoping it’s nothing too bad,” he said. “He felt a bit tight and, with the game going the way it was going, we had enough injuries coming off the last game.

“Liel (Abada) needed a bit of a run anyway, so we wanted to put him on. I don’t know if it’s anything serious. But it was more of a precaution than anything else.

“It was a good solid performance. We started the game well and played it on our terms. It’s not an easy place to come and play. They’re hard to break down and don’t concede a lot of goals, so we had to be right on it today.

“From the first minute to the last, we had good energy, good tempo, scored some good goals and missed many more.”