Celtic may rip up player's £350,000 contract to let him leave for free

Report: Key Celtic star set to miss up to a month; major doubt for Ibrox trip

Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate is expected to be out of action for up to a month after limping off against Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday.

Hatate came into the match as a half-time substitute at Pittodrie but had to be replaced after 70 minutes with a calf complaint.

Now, The Scottish Daily Mail [16/08 print edition, back page] reports that tests have revealed a grade two tear, which will have a recovery time of three to four weeks.

That puts Hatate out of upcoming matches against Kilmarnock and St Johnstone before the end of August. The Japanese midfielder is also a major doubt for the September 3rd trip to Ibrox to face Rangers, which would be a significant blow to Brendan Rodgers’ options.

David Turnbull has been preferred to Hatate in the starting eleven of the opening two matches but struggled to make an impact against the Dons. Hatate notably improved the Bhoys midfield performance before having to be substituted off.

At this stage, there is no reported update on Cameron Carter-Vickers, who also had to go off up north. Rodgers revealed after the game he had felt a hamstring problem and was taken off as a precaution.

Everyone will be hoping that both players are back in action as quickly as possible.

Rodgers needs all of his most important players fit and healthy for a punishing upcoming schedule of games that sees the Bhoys play in some tough away venues and start a new UEFA Champions League campaign.

New signings are expected to arrive, but having the established core ready and available will be key to Celtic’s ambitions in the early stages of the season.

Celtic ‘keeping tabs’ on Daniel Podence Wolves transfer

Celtic are reportedly keeping tabs on Wolves attacker Daniel Podence.

The 27-year-old is said to be a target of Brendan Rodgers this summer, as he aims to bolster his Hoops frontline.

The Portuguese star is believed to want to quit the Premier League side this summer after falling out of favour at Molineux.

And the Scottish Sun claims Celtic are ready to pounce if the right opportunity arises.

Podence – who played no part in Monday night’s 1-0 Premier League opener loss against Manchester United – is valued at around £12million.

However, Celtic would not be willing to fork out that much on one player.

With less than a year remaining on his deal, it would seem unlikely Wolves would receive that amount anyway.

Podence has been a success for Wolves, but he scored just six goals for the club last term.

Real Betis and Everton has previously shown interest in his services, and there is expected to be major interest from other clubs too prior to the window closing in a fortnight.

Celtic sold Jota to Al-Ittihad in Saudi Arabid for £25m earlier this summer. While they have added wingers in the form of Yang Hyun-jun and Marco Tilio, Rodgers would like to strengthen that area of his team.

Meanwhile, Celtic could be without Reo Hatate for the next month.

The Japanese midfielder suffered what appeared to be a calf strain at Pittodrie on Sunday.

He was used as a second-half substitute in the Hoops’ 3-1 win over Aberdeen, replacing David Turnbull at the break.

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