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Daizen Maeda: Celtic agree deal to sign Japan striker on initial loan in January

Yokohama F Marinos striker Daizen Maeda set to reunite with manager Ange Postecoglou at Celtic; Scottish Premiership club also considering moves for Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi; January transfer window opens on Saturday January 1, 2022 and will close on Monday January 31

Daizen Maeda in action for Japan
Image: Japan striker Daizen Maeda is expected to join Celtic

Celtic have reached an agreement in principle to sign Japan striker Daizen Maeda on an initial loan deal.

The move would see the 24-year-old join in January with the Parkhead club then having the option of making the deal permanent in the summer.

Sky Sports News reported earlier this month the forward was one of Celtic's targets, with the club still considering moves for Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi.

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Yokohama F Marinos striker Daizen Maeda said in December he would like to move abroad with Celtic closing in on a deal

Maeda - who has already worked under Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama F Marinos - finished last season as the joint-top scorer in the J-League and featured in the division's best XI.

When asked about a potential move to Europe, he said: "I felt that I still have a long way to go after playing against foreign players.

"If I don't experience playing in a foreign league, I won't be able to close the gap, so if I have a chance, I'd love to go to such a stage."

It would be Celtic's second signing from the J-League after bringing in striker Kyogo Furuhashi, who has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season, from Vissel Kobe.

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Daizen Maeda was awarded the joint golden boot in the J League last season (Credit: Kyodo)
Image: Maeda was awarded the joint golden boot in the J-League last season (Credit: Kyodo)

Postecoglou aims to get January transfers in early

Postecoglou told Sky Sports News he wants January signings to be made as early as possible to allow incoming players time to integrate into the squad.

However, the Celtic manager added fans should not expect as many arrivals as they saw in the summer.

He said: "We are still with the intent of trying to bring them (signings) early and if we can and, from my perspective, it would be ideal if we can get them in from when we restart training and give them a lead into the second half of the year.

"I don't think I will ever go through another transfer period like I did when with the first one when we had to bring in 12, that was something unique I think.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou won't be taking time off
Image: Ange Postecoglou says he will not take time off during the winter break

"This time we can be a little more measured, we've been working on it a lot longer, so, I know what we want.

"It's still challenging, it's not a precise science, but hopefully we get the ones we want we get them in early."

Jackson: Kyogo has raised expectations

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Former Celtic striker Darren Jackson believes the supporters will be expecting any new signings from the Asian market to impress as much as Kyogo

Speaking on Sky Sports News, former Celtic striker Darren Jackson said:

"If they are half as good as Kyogo then I think they'll be very happy. He's been a sensation since he arrived.

"The manager knows the market, he knows the players and he's very confident in bringing them in, but expectation levels from the fans will grow because of Kyogo.

"When you look at the bench it's not as strong as it should be. Trying to change things during a match has probably been quite difficult for the manager.

"Kyogo maybe does need a little rest but there's no way they can give him a rest, so it's very important they strengthen the squad in January."

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