Celtic deal for ‘new big project’ now ‘likely’ at Parkhead

Celtic have ‘every reason to be optimistic’ about their chances of signing Yokohama F. Marinos midfielder Tomoki Iwata, journalist Dean Jones has told GiveMeSport.

The 25-year-old appears to be closing in on a switch to Parkhead following a string of impressive displays in his homeland and will join a growing contingent of Japanese stars at the club.

Celtic transfer news – Tomoki Iwata

Japanese outlet Sponichi has claim Iwata has already ‘obtained’ his UK work permit and that he will officially sign for Celtic in the January transfer window after a medical.

It’s claimed that the defensive-minded dynamo will join the Hoops for a reported fee of $1 million (£828k) on a loan deal with an option to buy.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou was quizzed over the prospect of signing Iwata recently, and he teased fans by replying: “We’ll see what Santa brings.”

The Japan international still has three years left to run on his current contract with Yokohama, and he could prove to be a bargain buy.

Celtic have already added two new players to their squad ahead of the window opening in the shape of defenders Alistair Johnston and Yuki Kobayashi.

What has Jones said about Iwata?

Jones believes that the prospective deal ‘holds good value’ and that Iwata has ‘got big potential’ as Postecoglou looks to continue his rebuild of the Glasgow giants.

Read more: January Transfer Window 2023: When Does It Begin, Rumours and Everything You Need To Know

In an interview with GMS, he said: “I think it seems likely. It’s a deal that holds good value, and he’s got big potential.

“We obviously have seen Ange get big performances out of players like this since coming in, and he’ll be the new big project, I guess. I think there’s every reason to be optimistic about this one.”

Would Iwata be a good signing?

Iwata won the J-League’s MVP (Most Valuable Player) award this year after helping Yokohama claim the top-flight title.

The 5 foot 10 ace registered two goals and two assists in 40 appearances from the base of midfield across all competitions while also turning out at centre-back on a regular basis.

Oliver Abildgaard, who is on loan from Rubin Kazan, is Celtic’s only natural holding midfielder at present after Nir Bitton departed the Scottish champions over the summer.

Therefore, Iwata’s arrival would offer Postecoglou some much-needed cover and competition in a crucial area of the pitch.

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