Celtic supporters have been making a lot of noise in the Transfer Tavern this season as their side continue to dominate Scottish football.
Brendan Rodgers’ men finished unbeaten in domestic competition last term to win the Scottish Premiership, Scottish League Cup, and Scottish Cup titles, and they have started this season in similar vein with five wins and a draw from their opening six league matches.
However, they have been disheartened in Europe after losing 5-0 at home to Paris Saint-Germain, and a recent report from France Football (via Sport Witness) is unlikely to fill them with cheer either.
And that’s because they report quotes from former Celtic target Hiroki Sakai, which suggests that the Japan international turned down the Scottish giants in favour of a move to French side Marseille back in 2016.
The 27-year-old right-back spent four years on the books at Hannover and in that time played 102 games for the Bundesliga outfit, helping them to successive top ten finishes before the club suffered relegation in 2016, which also saw the end of Sakai on a free transfer.
And the man himself has told France Football that he received an offer from Celtic, but rejected them to move to Marseille, saying: ‘I had three offers (Ajax, Celtic and Marseille).
‘He [Japan manager Vahid Halilhodzic] told me OM was a good club, but it was hard to impose yourself there. Since that’s what I wanted, I chose to come here.
‘I think he’s happy that I’m in France.’
These comments are sure to intrigue Celtic supporters, who have seen their side struggle somewhat in the right-back department in the last 12 months or so – a position that could have been filled by Sakai last summer if they had got a deal done.
Landlord’s verdict: Brendan Rodgers took over at Celtic last summer and remains unbeaten in domestic competition, but that doesn’t mean that everything has been plain sailing at Celtic Park.
The former Liverpool boss was seemingly on the lookout for a right-back last year, with Hiroki Sakai a possible option, yet the man himself has recently confirmed that he received an offer from the Scottish giants, only to turn them down in favour of Marseille.
And this sure to come as a blow to Rodgers and the Celtic hierarchy, especially as the Japan international performed well for the French side last term, and has been a regular in their team this time round as well.
Celtic fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!
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