Celtic have been dealt a big setback in their bid to bring Reo Hatate to Parkhead in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a claim made by Dan Orlowitz (via Everything Celtic), with the Japan Times journalist revealing that, despite reports suggesting that the player’s contract with Kawasaki Frontale is set to expire in January, the 24-year-old is actually contracted to the J League club beyond the end of the current campaign.
Subsequently, in recent comments cited by the Daily Record, Orlowitz went on to reveal that that Frontale are commanding a fee in the region of £2.4m in order to part with Hatate this January, something which is reported to be a stumbling block in Celtic’s move for the midfielder.
Speaking about the Bhoys’ interest in the player, Orlowitz said: “I’ve heard that Frontale want £2.4m for Hatate.”
Considering just how impressive Hatate has been in Japan this season, the news that Celtic will not be able to land the midfielder on a free transfer, and may even end up missing out on his signing if they do not meet Frontale’s asking price, is sure to have left Hoops fans gutted.
Indeed, over his over 30 J League appearances this term, the £720k-rated man scored five goals, registered two assists and created three big chances for his teammates, as well as taking two shots and making 1.1 key passes per game.
Furthermore, Hatate’s ability to play at both left-back and attacking midfield is something which would prove incredibly useful for Ange Postecoglou, as Celtic are currently lacking strength in depth in both positions.
As such, it would indeed appear as if the 24-year-old’s signing would be a fantastic one for the Bhoys to get over the line this winter, and why Orlowitz’s latest update could come as a big blow to the club, as well as worrying news for fans.