Celtic told they face massive battle to keep top star as Premier League outfit preps scouting mission

Daizen Maeda Celtic

Celtic have been told that one of their top stars could be tempted by the massive draw of playing in the English Premier League.

Japan international forward Daizen Maeda is the player in question, with Southampton reportedly sending a scout to watch the 25-year-old in action in the League Cup semi-final against Kilmarnock on Saturday.

The attacker is said to be high on Nathan Jones’ wanted list at St Mary’s, as he looks to guide the south coast club away from the drop zone.

Saints currently sit rock bottom of the Premier League table and look increasingly doomed to go down.

However, former Tottenham defender Alan Hutton believes Maeda will be tempted to join them, despite their current plight.

He told Football Insider, when speaking about the World Cup star’s potential exit: “From a Celtic point of view you will be hoping it is unlikely.

“I think he gives something, you even see him against Kilmarnock, his pace in behind, his running power and he creates goals.

“He probably should score more with the attributes that he has. But he definitely gives Celtic that outlet. I would not imagine they would want to sell him.

“I understand that the lure to the Premier League is massive and Southampton need players. He probably gives them something that they do not have. But from a Celtic point of view they will want to hold on to him.”

Jones is looking to bring in a number of new faces to boost his squad, with TEAMtalk already revealing that a deal for Argentine midfielder Carlos Alcaraz is already close to going through.

Saints are next in action on Wednesday night when they host Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

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