Celtic are closing in on a deal to bring Reo Hatate to Parkhead in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by the Daily Record, who claim that Ange Postecoglou’s side are doing all they can to tie up a deal for the Kawasaki Frontale left-back ahead of the opening of the winter market, with the Bhoys believed to be attempting to fast-track the 24-year-old’s switch to Parkhead.
The report goes on to state that the Hoops have all but agreed terms with both the J League side and the defender, and are confident that Kawasaki Frontale will not stand in the way of the Japan international making a move to Glasgow prior to the expiry of his contract at the end of January.
Finally, it is said that Celtic are hoping to have Hatate’s work permit application and the surrounding paperwork completed before January 1, and are hoping that the left-back can make his debut in the Old Firm clash on the second of the month.
Considering just how much of a problem position left-back has been for Postecoglou so far in his time at Celtic, should the Bhoys indeed manage to get a deal tied up for Hatate in the coming weeks, it would undoubtedly be an outcome that will leave the 56-year-old buzzing.
Indeed, the 24-year-old has highly impressed over his 29 J League appearances this season, scoring five goals, registering two assists and creating three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of two shots and making 1.1 key passes per game.
The £720k-rated defender has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 1.4 interceptions, 1.3 tackles, 52.4 passes and winning 5.3 duels per fixture.
These returns have seen the Japan international average a SofaScore match rating of 7.16, ranking him as Kawasaki Frontale’s fifth-best performer in the league, as well as the joint 15th-best player in the entire division.
As such, considering the fact that Greg Taylor has been sidelined for the vast majority of the current campaign due to injury, while Boli Bolingoli’s two appearances in all competitions this season prove that he is clearly not a player in Postecoglou’s first-team plans, the signing of a new left-back in the January window – particularly one as exciting as Hatate – will undoubtedly come as a major boost to the 56-year-old’s chances of going on to reclaim Celtic’s Scottish Premiership crown come next May.