CELTIC are stepping up their efforts to fast-track versatile Japanese star Reo Hatate’s anticipated arrival at Parkhead.

The 24-year-old left-back, who can also play in midfield, is a priority target for Ange Postecoglou and the transfer is said to be “well down the line,” as CQN reported at the weekend.

Hatate is out of contract with club side Kawasaki Frontale at the end of January, but the Hoops are determined to get the switch complete while there are growing concerns over new coronavirus strains which could lead to more travel restrictions.

The Parkhead bosses have been thrashing out personal terms with the highly-rated former Under-23 international and there is every indication he will join up with his countryman Kyogo Furuhashi who sealed a £4.6million move from Vessel Kobe in July and is already a fans’ favourite with a 13-goal haul.

Celtic are also working on having their work permit application and paperwork completed ahead of the New Year window opening, according to the Daily Record.

It is unlikely red tape will prevent the move from getting the green light.

Postecoglou has also been linked with pacy frontman Daizen Maeda, a player he has worked with after taking him to Yokohama F Marinos.

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