REO HATATE admitted his love of Celtic as he signed on at the champions until 2028.

The fans’ favourite ended the guessing game this afternoon as he finally agreed the contract to pledge his immediate future to the Parkhead men.

It’s another boost for manager Brendan Rodgers as Hatate joins his countrymen Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda in extending his terms at Scotland’s title kings.

Captain Callum McGrgeor, Israeli winger Liel Abada and Scotland defender Anthony Ralston and the country’s former Under-21 skipper Stephen Welsh have all signed enhanced deals in recent months.

ON THE SPOT…Reo Hatate slots in a penalty-kick for the opener at Livingston and also his 14th goal for Celtic.

Midfielder Hatate, speaking to the Celtic website, said: “I am delighted to agree this new contract with Celtic and commit my future to the club

“I love playing for Celtic in front of the best fans around and I hope we can have more and more success together.

“We have a lot of challenges ahead of us this season and beyond, both in Scotland and in the Champions League, and we are all ready as a team to tackle these together. We will give everything we have to bring our fans more good times.

“I have had the best welcome ever since I joined the club and I want to thank all our fans for the great support they continue to give to us all.”

Hatate, who joined the Hoops from J-League outfit Kawasaki Frontale in January 2022 and been capped three times by Japan, has made 71 appearances and scored his 14th goal for the side via the penalty spot in the 3-0 win at Livingston last weekend.

Boss Rodgers added: “I am delighted that Reo has agreed this new contract. It is great news for both Reo himself and for the team and the club.

REO THE FIRST…Hatate turns away in delight after scoring his initial Celtic goal in the 2-1 win over Hearts at Tynecastle on January 26 2022.

“I have had some great discussions with him in recent weeks, I know he loves the club and our supporters and how ambitious he is to bring more success to the club.

“Reo has already shown us what a talent he is, making a great contribution to the team since he has joined Celtic.

“He is a huge talent, an exciting young player with great attributes and someone who can change a game.

“I know he is the type of man and player, though, who doesn’t want to rest. He is hungry to improve every day and achieve more and more to be the very best he can be – and Celtic is a great place for him to do this.

“We go forward now together with real confidence and I really look forward to continuing our work with him and the rest of the squad as we face all our challenges ahead.”

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