Celtic could have the chance to sign a fast, young and talented centre-back once again this summer, after being believed to have been very interested last time around as well. Even though the signs do point to Cameron Carter-Vickers signing with the Hoops on a permanent basis, Ange Postecoglou is expected to be keen to boost the squad further and look to add another central defensive option to the ranks.
Christopher Jullien could very possibly be on his way out of the club, having barely featured since returning from long-term injury. On the other hand, Stephen Welsh was not particularly impressive either and does not look to be someone ready to play significant minutes.
Ko Itakura is a player who was very much on Celtic’s radar last summer but ended up joining Schalke. The Japanese star, on loan from Manchester City, played a key role in the German club’s promotion to Bundesliga as well. But there is some interesting news on the defender’s future.
As reported by Sky Sport, Schalke have a €6 million option to buy, a lot of money for the club right now. Thus, they are under a lot of pressure and have a decision to make, with the option expiring next week.
Celtic could have chance to sign the Manchester City player this summer again
Itakura is 25 years of age and has made several appearances for the Japan national team. He was instrumental in Schalke gaining promotion to the Bundesliga. Under ideal circumstances, they were not expected to have thought twice about making a move but their financial situation means that they have a difficult choice to make.
Celtic would hope that Mark Lawwell’s connection with Manchester City would make a move easier, if Schalke do end up failing to take up the option to sign Itakura.
With guaranteed group stage Champions League football to come next season, Celtic will offer an attractive place to play football. The club will also need to boost their squad depth to get ready for Europe’s elite competition and bringing in proven internationals who are already well known to the manager seems like a very logical step. Thus, signing Itakura would make a lot of sense.