Celtic appear to be edging closer to the signing of Daizen Maeda in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a claim made by Dan Orlowitz, with the Japan Times journalist and J League insider stating in a post on Twitter that the Yokohama F. Marinos centre-forward’s proposed move to Celtic appears to be all but done, with the 24-year-old looking set to join the Bhoys on an initial loan deal with a €2m (£1.7m) purchase option to be exercised this summer.
In his post, Orlowitz said: “Multiple Japanese outlets reporting in the last 30 minutes that Daizen Maeda is expected to join Celtic on loan with a €2m purchase option to be exercised this summer. Based on [the] variety of sources I’d say this is done.”
Considering just how impressive Maeda was in Japan this season, in addition to the fact that Ange Postecoglou is rather short of strength in depth up top, the news that the club’s deal to sign the striker looks to be all but complete is sure to have left the 56-year-old buzzing.
Indeed, over his 36 J League appearances this term, the £990k-rated forward scored a highly impressive 23 goals, provided three assists and created four big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.6 shots and making 0.9 key passes per game.
These returns saw the Japan international earn an excellent seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.09, ranking him as his club’s joint sixth-best performer in the league, as well as the joint top scorer in the division.
And, with all three of Kyogo Furuhashi, Albian Ajeti and Giorgos Giakoumakis suffering from various injuries this season, it would very much appear as if Postecoglou could use an extra body in attack ahead of the restart of the Premiership season next month.
As such, the news that the Maeda deal is close to completion will undoubtedly come as a major boost to the 56-year-old Bhoys manager, who will certainly be hoping to deploy the 24-year-old when Hibernian visit Parkhead on January 17.