REO HATATE is on the brink of becoming Celtic’s first signing of the January transfer window.

The Japanese left-back is out of contract at J-League club Kawasaki Frontale at the turn of the year and the Hoops have made moves to bring the 24-year-old defender to Parkhead to join his countryman Kyogo Furuhashi.

The proposed switch has picked up speed in recent weeks and appears to be close to completion with the deal “well down the road,” according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The left-back spot has been a problem position for Ange Postecoglou since his summer arrival and he has been forced to play Josip Juranovic in the No.3 slot, but it is obvious the Croatian international back-four operator is more comfortable on the right.

ON THE MOVE…Japanese ace Reo Hatete looks to be heading to Celtic.

Boli Bolongoli has even made a couple of first-team appearances in this campaign after being banished from the club last season following his Covid-19 curfew infringements.

Liam Scales arrived in a £600,000 switch from Shamrock Rovers in the summer, but has been a peripheral figure in the first-team squad and has yet to start a game.

Greg Taylor has been sidelined with a shoulder injury sustained in the Europa League Play-Off against AZ Alkmaar on August 26.

Hatate is well known to the manager while Japan international Daizen Maeda, his former striker at Yokohama F Marinos, has also been strongly linked with a reunion with Postecoglou in Glasgow.

The Greek-Australian has spoken at length about his admiration for the quality of Japanese football and it is clearly a market he intends to raid as he further strengthens his squad for the second half of his debut campaign at Parkhead.


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