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Celtic face the threat of Saudi interest in Reo Hatate

Celtic could be faced with interest from Saudi Arabia in Reo Hatate.

The midfielder has enjoyed outstanding form over 18 months, settling quickly into Scottish football typified by two goals in the Glasgow Derby a month after completing his move from Kawasaki Frontale.

On the back of signing Cristiano Ronaldo the Saudi Pro League is posing a serious threat to every major league as they look to make an instant impact on the game.

A limited fixture list complimented by a tax free salary will be hard to resist with the Daily Record picking up on interest in Hatate:

Reports in Saudi Arabia claim big spending Al Ittihad have joined the race for the midfielder. The nation’s PIF, who also funded a takeover of Newcastle United has ploughed billions in to Saudi Pro League clubs in recent weeks, which has seen the likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly, Hakim Ziyech and Ruben Neves follow in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps and make the switch to the oil rich Gulf state. Now their wealth is threatening to impact on Scottish football as Hata is linked with a life changing move.

A news network linked to Al Ittihad claim Hatate is “close” to the Saudi outfit, but whether a deal is actually in the works at this stage is unclear. Hatate has become one of the Hoops’ star men since arriving from Japan in January 2022, along with Daizen Maweda.

The 25-year-old still has three years left to run on his Celtic deal. However, money has proven no obstacle for Al Ittihad in other deals and it could prove hard for either club or player to say no given the potential finances involved.

Celtic would be loathe to do business over Hatate but if the interest is genuine there is bound to be a fee that they can’t turn away from.

According to Transfermakt Celtic paid €1.53m for Hatate last January, with a proper Player Trading Model in place they should have similar players in their sights although replacing Hatate would provide Brendan Rodgers with a very difficult test early in his return to the club.

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