Celtic are close to agreeing a deal for versatile Japanese player Reo Hatate, according to reports.
The Hoops have been locked in discussions with Kawasaki Frontale over a transfer fee for the 24-year-old and sources in Japan claim an agreement in principle has been reached.
Hatate, who can play at left-back, in midfield or as a left-winger, is free to finalise a move to Parkhead after the J-League champions season finished on Sunday after they were knocked out of the Emperor’s Cup.
It is believed the utility man met with the club’s board last week where he expressed his desire to move to Scotland, with personal terms for Hatate likely to be concluded in the coming days.
Frontale stormed to domestic glory by 13 points with Ange Postecoglou’s former side Yokahama F. Marinos finishing runners-up.
The Australian has been scouring the Asian market ahead of the upcoming January window, with an agreement already agreed for Gamba Osaka midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi.
The club’s pursuit of Yokahama top scorer Daizen Maeda remains ongoing as Postecoglou aims to complete his transfer business as early as possible to allow his new recruits some time to adjust over the winter break.
Dan Orlowitz, football reporter for Japan Times, told Sky Sports: “They are a very interesting trio of players.
“You have Daizen Maeda who just collected the co golden boot award and was in the J-League best 11.
“You have Reo Hatate who is a midfielder who can also defend and played a good bit of time at left-back this season, but was registered as a forward. He also made the best 11.
“Yosuke Ideguchi is more of a holding midfielder who is capable of scoring great goals on occasion.
“You have this potentially fascinating line from the holding midfield position to the goal if they all sign.”
Meanwhile, star striker Kyogo Furuhashi could return to the Celtic line-up in time for Sunday’s Premier Sports Cup final.
Postecoglou has refused to rule out a quick recovery for the 26-year-old who is currently being monitored closely by the Parkhead medical staff as he looks to overcome a hamstring strain.
Asked about Kyogo’s chances of being involved in the match, Postecoglou, speaking after their 1-0 win over Motherwell, said: “I could say yes, I could say no.
“If you ask Kyogo he probably would have played today. If you ask the medical team, he’s out for two or three weeks.
“I’m kind of taking a stab in the dark in the middle somewhere - but I’ve no idea. I’ll be guided by the medical team and Kyogo.
“I can’t rule him for anything, but you can’t rule him in. I don’t know, we’ll wait and see. Like I’ve said, it’s not a significant injury.”