JAPANESE defender Yuki Kobayashi WILL be Ange Postecoglou’s first signing of the January transfer market.

The 22-year-old centre-back is on his way to become the Celtic manager’s FIFTH signing from the J-League, as CQN reported last month.

Postecoglou has already signed Kobayashi’s former Vissel Kobe team-mate Kyogo Furuhashi in a £4.6million deal in July last year with Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi arriving in a triple swoop at the turn of the year.

BY THE LEFT…Yuki Kobayashi clears his lines at Vissel Kobe.

The left-sided back-four operator will take the same route as a free agent after his contract expired at his club at the completion of the league season.

No hitches are envisioned with Japanese media outlet Next, based in Kobe, reporting a Vissel club official has admitted it was “hard to keep him now” with the player not interested in signing an extension.

Kobayashi has been following Kyogo and Hatate on Instagram in recent weeks as it appears he is gaining knowledge of life at Parkhead and what to expect in Scotland.

Kyogo, Hatate, Maeda and Ideguchi agreed four year deals when they signed and the highly-rated 6ft-plus central defender can expect a contract until June 2927.

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