Let’s Face It, Every Celtic Fan Knows Who The Next Contract Extension Needs To Be.

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When the news about Maeda broke yesterday I thought just the same as every other Celtic fan in the country did; my thoughts immediately turned to Reo Hatate and the question; is he next? And of course, he absolutely should be.

We have built a little enclave for the Japanese at Celtic, and that might be a big factor in keeping Hatate here. Watching his two compatriots sign new deals, it must now be very tempting for him to do the same and we can only have that this is having an impact.

He and his agent appear to have ruled out any move to Saudi Arabia. You have to laugh at the media trying to suggest that because Gerrard – desperate, out of work, no job on the horizon – performed a u-turn on this that Hatate might. Yeah, and I might get that date with Jennifer Lawrence after all. Anything’s possible, I guess … my money would be on them sticking to that.

Which means that he does fancy another crack at the Champions League, and we can use that and the new deals for his buddies to get him tied down. It has to be one the key priorities behind the scenes. The club is doing brilliantly at the moment … this would be the piece of business which would stop dead the talk of us losing another critical player.

I think we all broadly agree that the un-sellables now are Hatate, Carter Vickers and McGregor and we know that the captain is going nowhere. Tie the other two down and the media really has no place to go in trying to scare us with transfer stories. We could handle the loss of just about anyone else with equanimity. But it’s not just that of course.

Hatate was one of the outstanding players in the country during the last campaign. It would be amazing to see how he blossoms under Rodgers, what role he plays and who plays alongside him. I think he will almost certainly continue to be one of the first names on the team-sheet regardless of who we sign … and that shows you how good he is.

Keeping him would make a huge statement about our club, our plans and our management. They already deserve the utmost credit for the past fortnight.

Aside from incoming transfer business, this is the thing fans want most. If Celtic gets it done … wow. What a start to the Rodgers era that would be.

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