Celtic have reportedly prioritised the left-sided central-defensive position as the club’s January recruitment prepares to get underway.

Late on Sunday evening, it was reported in Japan that the Hoops had opened talks with Vissel Kobe defender Yuki Kobayashi.

And supporters were left intrigued by the club’s interest in the 22-year-old, with Ange Postecoglou looking to add another centre-back to his ranks.

Vissel Kobe v Melbourne Victory - AFC Champions League Qualifying Playoff
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However, according to a follow-up report by journalist Stephen McGowan in the Scottish Daily Mail, the left-sided defensive position is one the Celtic boss was prioritising going into the winter window.

So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to see the Bhoys recruitment team make another early move in the New Year by adding the left-footed defender to his squad for the second half of the campaign.

McGowan’s report also states that this interest is partly raised by the attraction that academy graduate Stephen Welsh has earned in recent transfer window.

The Scotland under-21 international has previously been targeted by the likes of Udinese and Toulouse. So, it remains to be seen what the signing of Kobayashi would mean for Welsh’s future and if those clubs might return with another offer in the coming months.

Of course, Welsh wasn’t the only player who attracted interest in the summer, with right-back Josip Juranovic being heavily linked with a move away from Parkhead.

And according to McGowan, the club is bracing itself for more interest in the full-back as he prepares to head off with Croatia to the Qatar 2022 World Cup next month.

Celtic FC v Aberdeen FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership
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Celtic making early January moves ahead of potential interest in squad.

As we edge closer to the start of the World Cup next month, you would imagine the recruitment side of things has stepped up for those working behind the scenes at Celtic.

Ange Postecoglou has already delivered several exciting updates ahead of the window, with the Bhoys scouting across the globe for quality new additions.

And if reports are to be believed, Postecoglou has outlined his priority target area for this up-and-coming January window, making an early move for the Vissel Kobe man.

Of course, it is a familiar recruitment strategy for the Hoops, who are edging closer to signing their 5th new addition from the J-League, which the 57-year-old knows well from his time as boss of Yokohama F Marinos.

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With the club already having four central defenders at the club, it may begin to raise the question about who is most likely to have a future at Parkhead.

However, in McGowan’s report, he seems to be suggesting that the club could be set for more interest in defensive duo Stephen Welsh and also Josip Juranovic.

So, it is good to see the club are assembling early plans to make similar moves to the last January window, prioritising the most important areas ahead of its opening in a couple of months’ time.

If no interest arises in either player, though, there is still the positive that the Celtic boss is continuing to improve his squad’s quality by bringing a left-football centre-back to the club.

In other news, Matt O’Riley shares apt nickname for Greg Taylor as Bhoys take to Instagram after Celtic win.

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