REO HATATE has dismissed speculation he is about to join Filipe Jota in the cash-rich Saudia Arabian league.
The Japanese insisted he is not interested in following the Portuguese winger to Gulf State after his former team-mate agreed an astonishing £10million-per-year three-season contract with Al-Ettihad.
Hatate has also just seen his friend and fellow-compatriot Kyogo Furuhashi pen a new four-year deal at the treble winners.
The gifted midfielder, who arrived at Parkhead along with J-League colleagues Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi in January 2022, was asked by Middle East media outlet DAZN if he had a desire to play in the Saudi Pro-League.
ON THE BALL…Reo Hatate in control during the Scottish Cup Final triumph at Hampden last month.
Hatate didn’t hesitate to reply that his focus was on Celtic although he did admit the English top flight was an interesting possibility.
Quizzed where he wanted to perform, the international playmaker said: “At a high level such as the Premier League. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime stage, so if I can play, I’d like to take on the challenge.
“But right now, the top priority is to do what I need to do in the team I’m in, so I’d like to do my best.”
Asked about his experiences of performing in Europe’s elite competition last season, Hatate answered: “Before playing in the Champions League, it was a stage I longed for.
“Now I want to compete there again. I think it was a good experience.”
The Champions League group stages draw in scheduled for August 31 with the first game due for the midweek of September 19/20.