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Ange brings more J-League stars to Celtic

Ange Postecoglou’s Japan connections have come to the fore again with Celtic signing three more J-League stars.

The Scottish giants confirmed on Friday that forward Daizen Maeda, 24, will join from Yokohama F. Marinos, initially on loan until the end of the season but with a compulsory purchase clause included which will see him sign a long-term deal.

In addition, midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi, 25, will arrive on a four-and-a-half-year deal from Gamba Osaka and versatile Reo Hatate, 24, will check in from Kawasaki Frontale, also on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Former Socceroos coach Postecoglou knows the Japanese scene well following his three years in charge of Yokohama before he took over at Celtic last summer, and he is confident the three players can all thrive in Glasgow.

He told the club’s website: “We are really pleased to bring in these guys to Celtic and I think they are players who will excite our fans.

“Clearly I am well aware of their attributes and I think in bringing all three to the club we are bringing even more quality, personality and energy to the squad to work with the players who have done so well for us already this season.

“They are all really at the peak of their careers, ambitious to achieve more success and I am sure at this particular time we will be getting their best years.

“I am delighted to have secured these players so early in the transfer window, I look forward to working with them and myself, my backroom team and the rest of the squad will be making sure we help them settle into Celtic as quickly as possible.”

Celtic expect to have their trio of new recruits fully registered and available to join up with the squad in early January as they prepare to resume their cinch Premiership campaign at home to Hibernian a fortnight on Monday following the winter break.

Hoops fans will be hoping the new faces have a similar impact to Postecoglou’s previous Japanese signing, with striker Kyogo Furuhashi having been one of the outstanding players in Scotland since arriving from Vissel Kobe in the summer.

Celtic are currently six points behind city rivals Rangers at the top of the Premiership table, with 18 games to play.

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