Reo Hatate to Celtic: Deal close for player who once slayed Brazil - and he's not only target in Japan

Celtic are closing in on the signing of Kawaski Frontale left-back Reo Hatate.

Reo Hatate is closing in on a move to Celtic, according to reports.

The 24-year-old’s contract expires in January and widespread reports claim that Ange Postecoglou will bring in Hatate to bolster his options in defence.

Celtic have been using right-back Josip Juranovic at left-back with Greg Taylor injured, while Boli Bolingoli is out of the picture. Their only other cover there is youngster Adam Montgomery.

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Postecoglou is a keen student of the J-League having worked there prior to joining Celtic with Yokohama F Marinos. He signed Kyogo Furuhashi from Vissel Kobe in the summer and, according to the Daily Mail, discussions with Hatate’s representatives are “well down the road”.

Hatate is an attacking full-back and would fit the profile of Postecoglou’s team, with the Australian encouraging his left and right-backs to get forward whenever possible.

While Hatate has not been capped for the full Japan team, he has chalked up 31 appearances for the Under-23s and also scored two goals for Japan in 2019 Summer Universiade final against Brazil. He is understood to be keen on a move to Europe, with Celtic’s profile in Japan currently high due to Furuhashi’s exploits in Glasgow.

Celtic are also hoping to broker a deal with Yokohama F Marinos for their highly-rated forward Daizen Maeda.

Postecoglou worked with the player prior to joining Celtic and has been persistently linked with a move to the Scottish Premiership.

Maeda, capped twice by Japan, has scored 17 goals in 29 appearances this season and would command a fee.