Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has effectively rubbished reports linking the Hoops with Kawasaki Frontale left-back Reo Hatate.
The 23-year-old is out of contract at the end of January, and it had been suggested that negotiations had started with the player’s agent ahead of a potential free transfer in the New Year. However, Postecoglou played down those rumours:
“There will be plenty of names before January. We are working towards them and we know what we need. We want to make sure we are well organised long before then, so we are going to identify targets and we will be talking to quite a few.”
“But we are not negotiating or close to signing anyone right now. “There will be plenty of people putting their name forward because I think this is an attractive destination at the moment. But we are just focused on being organised in January.”
Even if Celtic don’t go after Hatate, signing a left-back is still thought to be a priority. In the absence of Greg Taylor, Postecoglou has employed right-back Josip Juranovic on the left flank, rather than employing either Boli Bolingoli or Adam Montgomery.
We should know more about Celtic’s January targets in the coming weeks with Postecoglou’s comments indicating that he wants transfers to be secured as soon as the transfer window opens.
Considering the Hoops’ haphazard approach to recruitment over the summer, it is hard to believe that the Scottish club will bring in players that easily.