Reo Hatate was important to everything that worked well for Celtic last season. When he was injured, team performances dropped. He finds space to receive possession and can measure a pass into the opposition box with precision. As importantly, he shows up in big games with goals and assists.
Reports in Saudi Arabia this morning suggest interest in the player there. With three years left on his contract, Celtic can afford to sit for at least another season before feeling any pressure to sell their first-choice creative fulcrum. He will be 26 years old then, still with plenty in the tank, so there are lots of reasons to think a move this summer is unlikely.
There’s just one counterargument. Brendan Rodgers indicated a desire to increase the squad’s physical presence, a thought many of us share. We are usually shorter than opposing teams, with fewer players who can run for 90 minutes. If that is to change, churn has to happen.
Reo is 5’ 7” and more an artisan than a 90-minute gyroscope, both factors count against his chances of a move to England. When we sold Josip Juranovic we had backfill sorted. There is little chance we would sell Reo at this stage without a replacement lined-up. The story would have more legs next year.
Sorry to hear the passing of former Scotland manager Craig Brown. I had dealings with him a few years back, he was all that is said about him: funny, intelligent and humble. As a youth, he was on the books at Rangers but was very comfortable mixing with Celtic fans. He joked with me, “I was third choice left back at Rangers. First choice only had one leg and second choice was a Catholic!”