“I know about the reports,” Daizen Maeda on January move to Celtic

Informed rumoured Celtic target Daizen Maeda has admitted he knows all about the stories linking him to a January move to Celtic to join up with his old boss Ange Postecoglou but for now he’s concentrating on doing his best for Yokohama.

Maeda, who has scored 18 goals this season from 27 starts is currently the top scorer in the J-League but failed to hit the back of the net at the weekend in his side’s disappointing 2-1 defeat at Cerezo Osaka.

His transfer link to Celtic was added to last week with the J-League publishing stats that show that Maeda is the fastest player in their league so he’s had plenty to think about over the past few days in the media glare.

 Celtic fans hold a Japanese flag outside the stadium in support of Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic prior to kick off in the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Johnstone FC at on October 23, 2021.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Speaking to local media, as reported by Scottish Sun, Maeda confirmed knowledge of the stories linking him to a move to Celtic to play alongside Kyogo, and also revealed a strange story of how he reckons he ended up being so fast.

“I know about the reports, but my job is just to concentrate on playing and hopefully scoring goals for Yokohama. I am trying not to think too much about the speculation,” the Yokohama striker stated.

“I always think I can score goals in any match and that’s all I am thinking about at the moment. I am trying to get into the Japan team for the World Cup qualifiers too. Of course, if I keep scoring goals then good things will happen.

“It’s nice to be told about my speed. I wasn’t aware of any records until the fans here pointed it out to me.

“The speed thing comes from when I was a kid. Actually, I can’t remember losing a race. I think I inherited my speed from my father. I wanted to be a sprinter at one stage.

“When I was a kid in Osaka, I ran around barefoot and climbed mountains without wearing shoes. I wonder if that is was the origins of my speed.”

Daizen Maeda #9 of Team Japan celebrates after scoring their side’s fourth goal during the Men’s Group A match between France and Japan on day five of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at International Stadium Yokohama on July 28, 2021 in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

On Friday afternoon Ange Postecoglou was asked about the links that broke earlier that day that stated that talks were progressing for a Maeda move to January. While refusing to confirm the Celtic interest, Postecoglou stated that there is no imminent transfers in the pipeline as it’s only October. He also said he’d be spending the next few months neither confirming or denying transfer speculation, pointing out that the source of these stories was often player’s agents looking at drumming up interest.

That’s not necessary for this though with with the player and his former manager well known to each other. Ange also indicated previously that he’d be looking at recruiting again from Japan – a market he knows very well – in January when it’s their close season and therefore a better time to sign players.

 A Celtic fan shows support for Kyogo Furuhashi of Celtic by wearing a headband with the Japanese flag prior to the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic FC and St. Johnstone FC at on October 23, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

After the wonderful result in signing Kyogo the Celtic support would be thrilled to being Daizen Maeda to the club. Accordingly he is our first Likely Lad for the January window – we got 3 from 3 in August you might recall!

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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