By Noel Whelan

10th Dec, 2021 | 9:15am

Celtic tipped to exploit 'advantage' to seal blizzard of January signings after Sky update - pundit

Ange Postecoglou can use his knowledge of the Japanese market to give Celtic “extra quality” to aid their title push, according to Noel Whelan.

The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 56-year-old holds an “added advantage” because of his time in Asia.

As per Sky Sports (6 December), Celtic are targeting January moves for Japanese trio Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, and Yosuke Ideguchi.

Postecoglou managed Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos from 2018 until earlier this year.

Whelan highlighted the signing of Kyogo Furuhashi as a successful example of an Asian import.

“He’s tapped into an area that not a lot of people will be too knowledgeable of,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

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“A lot of managers will know the European circuit, but the Asian markets are a lot more unknown to clubs over here.

“Kyogo Furuhashi shows that looking in that market can bear fruit.

“Postecoglou and Celtic have that added advantage because he’s been over there in Japan. He knows who can come in and do a job having seen them play for a number of years.

“It’s about adding players who can give them that extra quality and the right attitude to help them to the title.”

Maeda, 24, finished as the top scorer in this season’s J-League after netting 23 goals in 36 games – and has previously worked with Postecoglou.

Hatate, also 24, is a left-back who can play in midfield.

Ex-Leeds player Ideguchi, 25, is a holding midfielder.

Furuhashi has netted 14 goals in 24 Celtic games following his arrival from Vissel Kobe in the summer window.

The Hoops are four points adrift of Old Firm rivals Rangers atop the Scottish Premiership.

In other news, an ex-Fifa official has major ‘concerns’ as fundamental Celtic and Rangers change pushed through.