Reported Celtic target touches on the future after Bhoys link emerges
Reo Hatate has admitted that he wants to hear his new song belted down from Kawasaki Frontale’s stadium next year/
The Japanese under-23 international has just finished a brilliant title-winning campaign with Frontale as they won yet another J-League title.
Celtic, meanwhile, were linked the player as recently as yesterday. Football Scotland reported that the Hoops have been in talks with the player’s agent as they look to thrash out a deal for the January transfer window.
However, the player’s sights for now clearly remain on his current club as he hinted he could still be playing for Kawasaki next year.
As quoted by Japanese outlet Asahi, Hatate said: “I cried on the bench after the game in Hiroshima. I honestly don’t remember what was the reason. But I wonder if it’s all about not being able to win when I came back (from the Olympics). The match after that, Tanaka Ao and Mitoma Kaoru, who fought together in the Olympics, left the team due to an overseas transfer.
“There was a part that relied on two people. I had the feeling that I had to fill the hole between them and I had to grow up. There was a part that I was too reluctant to do something about.
“The team has been winning the title since 2017. In order to be called a ‘constant victory’ like Kashima Antlers or a while, we have to continue. Thanks to joining this team, I can feel the importance of being close to the community and why there are supporters. I had a personal chant made, but I haven’t sung it yet. I want to hear it next year when they sing it in the Todoroki (Kawasaki Stadium).”
Reo Hatate still has goals he wants to achieve with Kawasaki Frontale
Hatate’s contract is up in January. However, he isn’t giving the impression of a player who’s definitely heading for the exit door. Perhaps such notions are premature for now. At least until an official offer has been accepted and the player has made his mind up.
For now, he appears happy in his homeland. You can see why considering he’s now tasted back-to-back title success. Kawasaki boast the strongest club in Japan stretching back over the last 5 years. They’ve won 4 of the last 5 J-League titles.
His contract situation is also an interesting aspect to take into consideration. If he’s scheduled to depart this January, then Celtic could easily snap him up on a free.
The difficulty could come if he decides to sign a new contract with his club. Considering he’s talking about wanting to hear his song next year and continuing the club’s dominance of Japan, it would be odd for him not to sign a new deal.
Then it becomes a case of how much Kawasaki value him at. Remember, as much of a success as Kyogo Furuhashi has been, he still cost Celtic £4.6m [Scottish Sun]. That isn’t pennies in Scottish football terms. This needs to be the right decision from a Celtic perspective if we’re to make the move.
It should be down to Ange Postecoglou and him only. But for now, Hatate certainly doesn’t seem like he’s angling for an exit.