Celtic are closing in on a deal to bring Daizen Maeda to Parkhead in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by The Times (via Daily Record), who claimed that well-placed sources in Japan expect Ange Postecoglou to complete a deal for the Yokohama F Marinos centre-forward in the winter transfer window.
The 56-year-old had previously claimed that he will be looking to re-enter the J League market in order to make further additions to his squad in January, stating: “That is one of the markets we will be looking at. Obviously, I know it well and they will get to the end of their season which is a good time if there’s anyone who will fit into our set-up.
“We will be looking everywhere. The last window was frantic. This time we want to make sure that we are planning well in advance. We have already identified targets and begun discussions before we get to January so that we can conclude deals a lot quicker than we did in the previous window.”
Considering the success that Kyogo Furuhashi has had since his £4.86m move from Vissel Kobe to Parkhead this summer, in addition to Maeda’s rather extraordinary returns in Japan’s top flight this season, it is easy to see why Postecoglou is keen to secure a deal for the 24-year-old this January, as he certainly seems like a player that the Celtic manager would love to have in his squad.
Indeed, over Maeda’s 30 J-League appearances in the current campaign, the £990k-rated marksman has scored 18 goals, registered three assists and created three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking 2.4 shots and making 0.9 key passes per game.
However, it is not only his keen eye for goal which has made the Japan international stand out this season, with The Times claiming that the 24-year-old has earned rave reviews for his “speed, movement and work-rate” – all three of which are characteristics of Postecoglou’s brand of football.
Furthermore, the Celtic boss will already be well aware of Maeda’s ability, with the forward having featured 50 times – scoring 12 goals and registering four assists in this period – under the 56-year-old during his time in charge of Yokohama F Marinos, returns which suggest that Postecoglou is a manager who will be able to get the best out of the striker.
With reports suggesting that a deal for the Japanese hitman is close to being completed, Celtic fans can very much begin to get excited about Maeda’s arrival, as the forward could well prove to be another Kyogo at Parkhead.