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Celtic suffer Old Firm blow over Japanese stars

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is facing a quadruple blow ahead of his side’s Old Firm clash next month.

What’s the story?

Along with Kyogo Furuhashi, the Hoops added to their Japanese contingent this month with the signings of Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi.

However, all four are likely to be missing from the clash against Rangers on February 2 due to being on international duty with Japan at the time.

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A report from Football Scotland explained: “The Japanese FA had been pushing for the government to relax rules on people entering the country from abroad with restrictions in place caused by Omicron.

“It now looks like they have bowed to that pressure with the government recognising it is in the ‘public interest’ for Japan’s best players to be available for the World Cup qualifiers.

“That includes the likes of Kyogo and his new Celtic team-mates, although Hatate is yet to earn a senior cap for his country but is expected to be called up soon.”

Fans will be gutted

With Celtic fans yet to see the likes of Maeda, Hatate and Ideguchi in action just yet, the news that they will now be missing from one of the biggest games of the season in the Premiership is sure to leave them feeling gutted.

If the newly-arrived trio’s time in Scotland could be mirrored by that of Furuhashi’s start to life with the Hoops, then Celtic fans are in for an absolute treat.

However, with Japan facing China on January 27 and Saudi Arabia on February 1, and the Old Firm clash at Celtic Park a day later, it’s improbable that the quartet will be available for the game.

Also, given the nature of the title race right now, Celtic could really have done with being at full strength as they look to close the gap on Rangers. Instead, they have been handed a major early blow before such a big game.

Meanwhile, Celtic must ruthlessly axe this player…

Article title: Celtic suffer Old Firm blow over Japanese stars

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