By Alan Hutton

18th May, 2023 | 9:41am

Celtic fans should be 'worried' about Reo Hatate after source's Brighton reveal - pundit

Alan Hutton has suggested Reo Hatate is the “number one” Celtic player who could leave this summer.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Rangers right-back said Hatate “ticks all the boxes” for Brighton as they eye up a potential swoop.

Last week (11 May), sources told this site that the Seagulls are still chasing the 25-year-old and are very keen to sign him this summer.

The midfielder’s current contract runs until 2026 but Roberto de Zerbi’s side are pushing to lure him away from Parkhead at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

As quoted by footballscotland (10 May), the Japan international attempted to squash the speculation around his future and insisted he is “focusing on the rest of the games” with the Celts.

When asked if Celtic fans should be worried about Hatate’s potential exit, Hutton told Football Insider: “Slightly.

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I think out of the whole squad he would be the number one to go.

When you think of his performances, his age, he can improve so that one would be a worry. I think there is an opportunity there.

Brighton do not normally get it wrong when it comes to transfers. They make the right appointments for their team and I think Hatate can tick all the boxes.

I know Celtic fans will not be happy with me saying it but it just shows how good a player he has been that a team like Brighton, where they are sitting in the league, want to take him there.

In other news, Crystal Palace are regularly scouting Celtic star midfielder.