Celtic: Reo Hatate has clubs ‘sniffing about’
Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate has clubs ‘sniffing about’ him ahead of the summer transfer window, according to BBC pundit Alan Hutton.
The Lowdown: Standout performer
The Japan international made the move to the Scottish Premiership from Kawasaki Frontale in January 2022 and has taken to life north of the border like a duck to water.
Sky Sports reporter Anthony Joseph previously claimed that the Hoops were bracing themselves for bids for the 25-year-old in January, but no official offer ever made it to the Parkhead door.
Ange Postecoglou’s star picked up the man-of-the-match award for the 4-0 victory over Aberdeen last weekend, receiving 91.2% of the fan vote on Twitter, and it’s this kind of form that may already be seeing him attracting interest.
The Latest: Hutton’s verdict
Asked by Football Insider whether Hatate’s impressive form should be a concern to Postecoglou heading into the upcoming window, Hutton replied:
“I think that is just part of it when you play for Rangers and Celtic.
“You look at [Matt] O’Riley when he was going through a real good spell, there was talk of him possibly going.
“When Hatate first came to the club I really thought he hit the ground running then he ran out of steam a little bit but you can see why. He is all action, all energy, he is everywhere, tackling, scoring, creating.
“It would not surprise me if people are watching him. But I think credit has to go to Celtic and their recruitment policy.
“They are finding players that a lot of us did not know much about and to come in and show what they are all about so soon is great for the club and the player. So there probably is people sniffing about.“
The Verdict: Keep hold of him
Hatate has been labelled a ‘magical’ talent by journalist Josh Bunting, and given his form this season, Celtic must do everything they can to keep hold of him beyond the summer.
The 5 foot 7 ace has posted 12 goal contributions in 24 Premiership appearances, operating in three different positions during that time (Transfermarkt).
The Suzuka native is also currently averaging 1.8 shots and 1.3 key passes per league 90 minutes, highlighting the threat he brings to the side (WhoScored).
Hatate is an integral member of Postecoglou’s first-team squad and the thought of losing him will be a huge blow, but with his contract not expiring until 2026, the Hoops are in a very strong position.