REPORTS in Japan have suggested that Celtic are closing in on Kawasaki Frontale ace Reo Hatate.

The full-back, who can also play in midfield, has netted four goals and assisted on two occasions in the J-League this season.

Hatate is currently contracted to Kawasaki until January 31, so Ange Postecoglou could make a late swoop in the upcoming window at the turn of the year.

Japanese football journalist Marco Molla on Twitter claims Celtic "will soon agree a deal" with the player.

Postecoglou has already brought in Kyogo Furuhashi who has become an instant hit with the Parkhead faithful and he has said in the past that he would not be afraid to dive back into the Asian and South American markets.

He said: “There is some fantastic talent in Asia, there is some fantastic talent in South America.

“Most definitely, that is one of the areas that I want to focus on (in terms of recruitment).

“But I think what will make it a good bit easier for the people working in those areas is the fact that we will have an identity and a clear idea of what kind of football we are trying to play and that narrows it down.

“We will search far and wide, but again those are the kind of challenges we have.

“If you are talking about bringing a player from far and wide, like South America or Asia, there are quarantine restrictions with covid.

“It’s not just about flying in a player. It has taken me what feels like an eternity to get here so all those things are what we are talking about and what we need to look at.

“I understand it is a big cultural challenge (for players coming here). It’s not just football, it’s living here and the differences in the culture. Especially from, say, a culture like Japan which is very distinctive in their culture.

“But I understand that. So if we get players from that side of the world or South America, then fine.

“Yokohama had five Brazilians in the team who were all very successful under me. I understand their mentality so I think that helps, for sure."