Reo Hatate has opened up on the reason he missed Celtic title celebrations after the win over Hearts.

The midfielder was not present as the Celtic squad enjoyed a title party at Parkhead after victory at Tynecastle.

Rumours had claimed Hatate's absence could be attributed to a trip to Brighton with the Premier League club credited with an interest in the Japan international.

However, Hatate cooled the rumours as he was quoted by Japanese outlet Sportiva as he explained he had been given permission from Celtic and the manager over plans after the Hearts match.

The midfielder did not disclose the nature of his plans but confirmed it had been long in the calendar. 

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Speaking to Sportiva, Hatate explained: "After the victory against Hearts, I was not present at the victory party at Celtic Park, so I saw it being talked about in the news.

"However, we had plans long before we knew that the championship against Hearts would be decided, and we had already received permission from the club and the manager beforehand.

"Originally, I wanted to share the joy with the fans at Celtic Park. Sure, I wasn't there, but at that time my heart was at Celtic Park and I felt like I was celebrating to win the league with everyone.

"We still have league games to play, but there's one more title Celtic can aim for this season. The Scottish Cup final against Inverness on 3 June remains. Following the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Premiership, we want to finish the season with a solid title win and a treble crown."

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