Brighton is again considering Reo Hatate following manager Roberto De Zerbi’s announcement of seeking a midfielder. The Celtic mid has prior connections to the Premier League side and a familiar bond, attending multiple matches due to his friendship with Kaoru Mitoma.
Rumors gained momentum as Moises Caicedo neared a transfer to Chelsea, prompting Roberto De Zerbi to hunt for a replacement for his crucial midfielder.
The buzz initially heightened at the close of the previous season, when Hatate was absent from Celtic’s title festivities, leading to speculations that he might be visiting his friend Kaoru Mitoma in Brighton. This recent development comes after increasing speculations that Hatate could move to the Amex Stadium.
Hatate, aged 25, played a significant role in Ange Postecoglou’s team since his arrival a year and a half ago. However, he has yet to make an impact under Brendan Rodgers.
The Japanese national had a tough time finding his form during the pre-season, and there have been discussions about his unsettled state at Parkhead.
In the recent season opener against Ross County, Hatate made a substitute appearance, while David Turnbull and Matt O’Riley were chosen to start alongside captain Callum McGregor in midfield.
Celtic aims to retain Hatate in the central midfield position this summer, especially after losing Carl Starfelt and Jota to Celta Vigo and Al-Ittihad.
Brighton might consider making a substantial financial offer for Hatate, mainly as Moises Caicedo has left the club for London giants Chelsea.
Although Liverpool had previously reached a £111 million agreement for the midfielder, he was more inclined towards a move to Chelsea. Last week, the Seagulls accepted a £110 million bid from the Reds for Caicedo, pending agreement on personal terms.
However, the Ecuadorian player preferred a transfer to Stamford Bridge instead of Anfield. He rejected the opportunity to join Jurgen Klopp’s team, and on Monday evening, the Blues officially introduced their new midfielder.
Manager De Zerbi is determined to secure a replacement for the place to fill Ceicedo’s place.
When questioned about his upcoming transfer plans, the manager stated, “I take immense pride in our current squad. Our objective is to finalize the squad. We’re aiming to enhance our team due to the departures of Mac Allister, Colwill, and possibly Caicedo. It’s crucial that we remain prepared.”
“When players move on, it’s a testament to their performances, as well as the collective efforts of the players, the club, and the coaching staff. While prominent clubs can acquire players, they cannot acquire our essence and determination. These intangible qualities don’t come up for sale when they depart.”
“We’re not yet at our desired strength; there’s still work to be done in completing the squad. I’m seeking individuals who are genuinely eager to join us. We are Brighton, and last year we accomplished a significant milestone—on par with Liverpool and even surpassing Chelsea. I’m keen to bring in players who take pride in representing Brighton.”
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