Celtic handed boost over Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda avaliabilty as Koji Sorimachi explains Japan situation

Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda would not be considered for international duty by Japan in January if they were to sign for Celtic during the transfer window.

Reo Hatate has been linked with a move to Celtic.
Reo Hatate has been linked with a move to Celtic.

The duo are widely expected to join the Glasgow club in January as manager Ange Postecoglou brings in fresh faces for the second half of next season.

The Australian coach has already signed Kyogo Furuhashi from the J-League, where he spent time with Yokohama F Marinos prior to moving to Scotland, as is a huge admirer of Yokohama forward Maeda and Kawaski Frontale left-back Hatate.

Japan have some crucial World Cup qualifiers coming up on January 27 against China and February 1 against Saudi Arabia, but Japan FA chief Koji Sorimachi has explained that Maeda and Hatate would not be considered for selection should they leave their current clubs as manager Hajime Moriyasu will only pick domestic-based players. They have been provisionally called into a 22-man squad for the fixtures as Japan aim to book their place at Qatar 2022.

"I have heard that there are rumours of a transfer (for those two),” Sorimachi said. "In that case (of a transfer), additional domestic players will be called-up."

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Furuhashi, who has been a revelation for Celtic since his move during the summer, has been left out of the squad for the ties.