ANGE POSTECOGLOU is plotting a transfer action replay at the turn of the year.
The Celtic boss is convinced the club’s swoop in the January window set them up for their charge towards their tenth title in 11 years.
Postecoglou moved to bring in the J-League trio Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi, Matt O’Riley from MK Dons and Johnny Kenny from Sligo Rovers.
The young Irish striker, now on loan at Queen’s Park, was brought in as one for the future, but the other four signings were viewed as being suitable for first-team duty as the second half of the campaign prepared to restart with a game against Hibs at Parkhead on January 17.
GLASGOW BELONGS TO US…two-goal Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda celebrate after the 3-0 derby triumph at Parkhead in February.
Maeda made an immediate impact with a goal inside four minutes in a 2-0 win and that set up the Hoops for an unbeaten league sequence that took them all the way to the Premiership crown with a 1-1 draw against Dundee United at Tannadice on May 11.
A double from the impressive Hatate eased the team to a 3-0 victory over Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Ibrox visitors on February 2 to go top of the league for the first time in 18 months. Celtic remained in pole position all the way until the end of the crusade.
Postecoglou envisages a similar strategy and admitted he is now helped by new head of recruitment Mark Lawwell having had time to settle at Parkhead with a brief “to scour the world”.
The Greek-Australian gaffer said: “We are well under way with our planning for January. It was really beneficial for us last year to do our business early in January. I think that helped us in the back half of the season.
“I think we are going to have to do something similar this January. Our strategy is already in place and, hopefully, it all comes together.
”We are looking everywhere in terms of our recruitment. Mark Lawwell is in the building now and the reason I brought him in is that he knows what I am looking for.”
JUST CHAMPION…Matt O’Riley celeebrates Celtic’s title triumph on Flag Day in Paradise following the 6-0 win over Motherwell on May 14.
Postecoglou, speaking to The Scotsman, added: “The brief is to scour the world for that. The Japanese and Asian market is one I am really familiar with and I still think there is value there for players. I know how they would fit into what we do.
“We signed Alexandro Bernabei from Argentina, so South America is also an area we are looking at.
“With Mark now working and knowing how we do things, we know exactly what we are looking for. There are some parameters financially that we have to work with, but the key criteria is the kind of characters they are, and how they conduct themselves.
“Whether they are from Europe, Asia, South America or Africa, we factor that into any player we bring in.”
The update from the Hoops boss shot down speculation at the weekend linking former Spurs and Liverpool recruitment chief Steve Hitchen with a post at Parkhead.
It’s clear it is going to be business as usual for Postecoglou and Lawwell with chief executive Michael Nicholson putting the finishing touches to term and conditions.
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