Report: Celtic have begun negotiations with agent of J League star Reo Hatate
According to a report, Celtic have begun negotiations with the agent of Kawasaki Frontale utility man Reo Hatate.
Football Scotland have revealed that Celtic transfer fixers are talking with Hatate’s representatives over a January move to Glasgow. The 23-year-old is celebrating a second league title with Kawasaki Frontale, who won the 2021 J League title earlier today [Japan Times].
Endlessly versatile, and a Japan international, Hatate has been named as a potential Celtic target for a while now. 67 Hail Hail’s own Hamish Carton picked out the Kawasaki Frontale utility man in mid-October [67 Hail Hail].
Hatate has split his appearances for Kawasaki Frontale between left-back and central midfield this season [Transfermarkt]. In 33 games, he contributed to 8 goals, scoring 5 and setting up 3.
It’s not the only J League dalliance Celtic are being linked with this January. Daizen Maeda is also a reported Bhoys target, with The Times stating that Celtic chiefs are “confident” of getting a deal done.
Typically, Hatate is a product of the unique footballer development system in Japan. In 2019, he was playing University football, and being tipped for stardom by publications like Japan’s Soccer Digest. In February 2020, he joined Kawasaki Frontale permanently from Juntendo University, and has amassed 4 caps for Japan’s Olympic team since.
Reo Hatate seems like an excellent option for Celtic, in either defence or attack
Currently, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has a resounding 100% success rate with his signings from the J League.
Fine, he’s only made one, the charming goal-machine Kyogo Furuhashi. However, looking around the squad, there’s certainly a need for a permanent answer at left-back. Or, indeed, Hatate can be a useful option in midfield. Having that versatility is useful.
Off the back of a second successive J League title, it’s natural that Postecoglou would look to Kawasaki Frontale for transfer inspiration. The Greek-Aussie boss still has significant pull in Japan, and he offers a direct route to European football.
Where Hatate would play in this Celtic team isn’t certain. However, the technically-gifted and intelligent utility man would be a useful addition.