Daizen Maeda keen on move to Europe as Celtic link emerges

Maeda feels he has to leave Japan to improve as a player.

Daizen Maeda keen on move to Europe as Celtic link emerges Getty Images

Japan international Daizen Maeda has revealed his desire to play in Europe amid reports of an imminent loan move to Celtic.

An agreement in principle to take the 24-year-old Yokohama F Marinos striker to the Glasgow club in January has reportedly been reached, with Celtic having the option of making the deal permanent in the summer.

The deal would see Maeda team up again with former boss Ange Postecoglou at Parkhead.

Maeda, who previously had a loan spell at Portuguese club Maritimo, was asked about a possible move to Europe in an interview broadcast on Sky Sports Scotland.

Speaking through an interpreter, he said: “I felt that I still have a long way to go after playing against foreign players.

“If I don’t experience playing in a foreign league, I won’t be able to close the gap.

“So if I have a chance, I love to go to such a stage.”

Maeda would be the Parkhead club’s second signing from the J-League after the arrival of striker Kyogo Furuhashi from Vissel Kobe in the summer.

The Japan international has been a sensation at Celtic, scoring 16 goals in all competitions.

Maeda, who worked under Postecoglou at Yokohama F Marinos, was joint top-scorer in the J-League last season.

Celtic have also been linked with Reo Hatate and Yosuke Ideguchi from the Japanese top flight.

The winter transfer window opens on Saturday January 1 and closes on Monday, January 31.

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