Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed the club are in negotiations with Japanese midfielder Reo Hatate about signing a new contract.
However, it has been reported that Hatate asked for his own talks to be delayed until after the end of the summer transfer window. The latest from the papers this morning suggested that those talks had begun.
And Rodgers has now confirmed that news, telling Sky Sports after today’s win over Dundee: “Clearly [I’m on board with the new contract talks]. He’s a very good player, it’s something between the club and the player. The club have been looking to tie it down for a little while. So hopefully there’s movement on that. But no update yet.”
Given his ability and potential, it would be a significant boost for the Bhoys if Hatate committed his long-term future to the club. He’s a serious player and a big asset to the club from a transfer value perspective.
Hopefully, an agreement can be reached and Hatate can fully settle into the Rodgers era. By the manager’s own admission, Hatate had a difficult pre-season period.
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However, he looked sharp coming off the bench against Dundee on Saturday and provided a clear lift to the function of the Celtic midfield.
If he can do that in the UEFA Champions League, too, he’ll be in a very strong negotiating position on a new deal. But the most important thing is he shows his worth on the pitch. He could be pivotal to any success enjoyed this season.
In other news, Celtic fans get good news on Saturday’s two big concerns.