Japanese pair Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate could both arrive at Celtic in the upcoming January transfer window as Ange Postecoglou looks to strengthen his first-team squad, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The Hoops have been strongly linked with the J-League pair as their new manager looks to use his contacts in the Far East to bolster his title-chasing charges.
What is the current situation with Maeda and Hatate?
In a recent interview relayed by the Daily Record, Koji Sorimachi, head of the Japanese FA, revealed he had ‘heard that there are rumours of a transfer’ for the in-demand pair.
Maeda finished as the Japanese top-flight’s joint-highest scorer last term after bagging a whopping 23 goals in 36 appearances for Postecoglou’s former side Yokohama F Marinos.
Meanwhile, Hatate has established himself as one of the most dangerous defenders in his homeland after putting in a string of impressive displays throughout 2020/21.
In 77 outings in all competitions for Kawasaki Frontale, the attack-minded left-back has notched up 12 goals and laid on a further 10 assists for his teammates.
Interestingly enough, Sky Sports have reported today that Celtic have agreed a deal in principle to sign Maeda on loan with the option to make his move permanent in the summer.
However, O’Rourke believes not just Maeda but also Hatate are likely to end up at Parkhead come the end of January.
What has O’Rourke said about Maeda and Hatate?
With Hatate set to become a free agent at the end of January, and Maeda only being brought in on an initial loan, they could both prove to be bargain additions for Celtic this winter.
The Football Terrace: Check out Terry’s BRUTALLY HONEST take on Ralf Rangnick at Man United…
O’Rourke is confident that the Glasgow giants can get both deals over the line, with Postecoglou’s ongoing revolution starting to take shape.
The transfer expert told GiveMeSport: “Yeah, I could see these two possibly being new additions for Celtic in January.”
Would the duo be good signings?
Summer signing Kyogo Furuhashi has proven to be an instant hit since arriving in Scottish football from Vissel Kobe on a four-year deal.
Following the Boxing Day clash with St. Johnstone, the 26-year-old has already racked up 21 goal contributions in just 26 outings for Celtic, becoming an instant fan favourite and paving the way for his countrymen to follow.
If Hatate and Maeda can replicate their success from the J-League in Scotland and follow in Kyogo’s footsteps, then they will undoubtedly be huge successes, adding some much-needed strength in depth to Postecoglou’s first-team squad.