Ange Postecoglou’s arrival at Celtic has been met with scepticism, intrigue and excitement.
The Australian has only ever managed in Europe once – a short stint in Greece – but he brings a swashbuckling and intense style of football to Parkhead.
It also appears that Postecoglou’s contact book runs deep. He’s been linked to some of Australia’s star players in Mat Ryan and Aaron Mooy but some of Japan’s finest young talent could also arrive at Celtic.
The Hoops have been linked with a move for one of his former players in Ado Onaiwu but there are others in the J-League catching his eye.
One of those happens to be Kawasaki Frontale midfielder Ao Tanaka.
According to information obtained by the Daily Record, the Celtic-linked player has received an offer from an overseas club and is now in negotiations to move.
Frontale staff said: “Ao Tanaka has received an offer from an overseas club and is proceeding with negotiations and adjustments on the premise of a transfer.”
That club is believed to be Dusseldorf in Germany.
If the Bhoys can lodge their own bid and convince him to move to Scotland instead, then it would be an astute acquisition.
After all, Tanaka plays in a position where Celtic are arguably lacking top-quality options.
Scott Brown has left for Aberdeen while the idea of Olivier Ntcham departing is growing increasingly more likely.
Liam Shaw has arrived to fill a void in the middle of the park but they still lack genuine senior options going into the new campaign.
Ismaila Soro remains a prime candidate to be given Brown’s role in the middle of the park and if you consider his tackle rate, it’s hardly a surprise. The Ivorian won 2.2 challenges per match last term and also completed as many as ten in one Europa League clash with Lille.
Combine that with Tanaka and you’d have quite the duo in midfield.
Described as someone who has the capability to become “exceptional” by UEFA A license coach, Stevie Grieve, his numbers are incredibly eye-catching.
The 22-year-old has regained possession 5.1 times per match and has made 4.1 tackles per game, showcasing his immense defensive attributes.
He is also dept at going forward, playing 1.4 key passes an outing for Kawasaki Frontale. He also starred against Postecoglou’s Yokohama F. Marinos this term.
In a 2-0 win for Tanaka’s side, he assisted a goal and helped to break up the play astutely. During that clash, he won four interceptions, created two chances and completed 86% of his passes in a complete midfield performance.
With the new Celtic boss already seeing firsthand what Tanaka can do, he should attempt to lure him to Paradise this summer.
It would be a very shrewd piece of business from the Bhoys.