He’s a man Brendan Rodgers is said to be lining up – but Eddie How has already revealed what it will take for Celtic to land Ryan Fraser from Newcastle.
The Scotland international has no future at the Toon and reports claim that the Premier League side will not demand a significant fee for the winger who hasn’t played since last October.
Fraser is training with Newcastle’s development side but Celtic boss Rodgers is said to be keen on making a move to bring home back to Scotland, having started his career at Aberdeen.
At the end of July in an address on Fraser, Isaac Hayden and Jeff Hendrick, Toon boss Howe revealed that his club had hit brick walls in trying to offload three of their frozen out senior stars.
But in his address to the Chronicle came three demands that the stars want to get right before picking next destinations.
He said: “With those players, in particular, it is very difficult for us as a football club. In an ideal world for their careers we’d want them to go and play football and have a good career at another football club.
“But there’s all sorts of difficulties associated with it. Contract length, the amount of money they are earning and it is finding a football club that they want to go to as well.
They are all great lads. I have no issue with any of them and I wish them well, but let’s see what happens.”
Rodgers could land Hatate replacement for Celtic in swoop for “elegant” 5 ft 11 player
Celtic have gone through a summer full of change on and off the pitch as they have changed managers and seen a number of players arrive at and depart from Parkhead.
In terms of high-profile exits, the Hoops lost head coach Ange Postecoglou as he opted to move to England to join Tottenham Hotspur and has been replaced by Brendan Rodgers.
The Bhoys have also seen three of the stars of the 2022/23 treble-winning squad move on as Aaron Mooy decided to retire from professional football and Portuguese star Jota joined Al Ittihad for a reported fee of £25m, whilst Carl Starfelt has joined Celta Vigo in Spain.
It now remains to be seen whether or not Rodgers will lose any other first-team players before the end of the window, as central midfielder Reo Hatate was touted with an exit earlier this summer.
Last month, the 25-year-old talent admitted that he would like to take on the challenge of the Premier League if given the opportunity to, amid speculation over a possible move south of the border or to Saudi Arabia.
If the Japanese dynamo does opt to depart from Paradise before next month’s deadline, Rodgers could replace him by securing a deal to sign reported transfer target James McAtee from Manchester City.
Although, the Japan international could need replacing in the short-term irrespective of a possible transfer as he suffered an injury over the weekend.
He came on at half-time against Aberdeen on Sunday but only lasted until the 70th minute as a calf problem, as confirmed by Rodgers after the match, forced him back to the bench, and it remains to be seen how long that will leave him sidelined for.
Hatate enjoyed a terrific 2022/23 campaign in the Scottish Premiership as he showcased his ability to make a big impact at the top end of the pitch from central midfield.
The talented ace racked up six goals and eight assists in 32 league clashes for the Hoops and no other midfielder managed more than four strikes, which means that the number 41 was the club’s biggest goal threat from that position.
McAtee, who was once described as “elegant” by talent scout Jacek Kulig, is a player who has the potential to offer a similar level of quality as both a scorer and creator from midfield.
The 20-year-old prospect scored nine goals and provided three assists in 37 Championship outings on loan at Sheffield United last season.
However, it is his form for City at youth level that suggests the quality is there for him to be a dream Hatate replacement. He racked up an outstanding 27 goals and 19 assists across 52 U21 matches, which works out as a goal contribution every 1.13 games on average.
The current Celtic star managed a direct involvement every 2.29 outings on average and this suggests that Rodgers could possibly improve his team if McAtee is able to translate his youth team performances over to Parkhead this season.
His nine-goal haul for the Blades shows that he is on the right track to being a reliable attacking option from midfield at first-team level and a move to Paradise could be the next step in his development.
Therefore, the 5 foot 11 wizard could be a dream replacement for Hatate, whether that is down to his injury or a future transfer, as a midfielder who can consistently score and create goals for the team.