Celtic have been linked with a number of players in recent times as the club are expected to strengthen their squad further, with Champions League group stage football waiting next season for the Hoops, after an agonising gap of several years. Thus, Ange Postecoglou’s side must be keen to impress on those legendary European nights under the bright lights at Parkhead.
One of the positions that they could need reinforcements in is centre-back. The club have managed to sign Cameron Carter-Vickers from Tottenham Hotspur on a permanent basis, in a deal that could rise up to £10 million.
At the same time though, the future of Christopher Jullien is up in the air, as he struggled to break into Postecoglou’s plans, after his return from a long time injury, earlier this year. The Frenchman made only one appearance last season, that too as a substitute.
As a result, signing another centre-back might not be a bad idea for Celtic and they have been linked with Manchester City’s Ko Itakura, a player they had been linked with last summer as well. That time around, he moved to Schalke on loan. And now, it looks like the Hoops have lost the race to sign the Japanese international once again.
Celtic have lost the transfer race for £5 million-plus Japanese star
As reported by the Daily Mail, Itakura is closing in on a move to Borussia Monchengladbach. He is expected to agree a four-year deal once a transfer fee is agreed between the two clubs, believed to be around £5million plus the promise of additional bonus fees.
Itakura did a great job at Schalke last season and could have potentially been a great addition for Celtic.
But it would have perhaps been unwise for the club to shell out that kind of a transfer fee on a defender, who might not even turn out to be a regular starter in Postecoglou’s side. Especially after they have already spent big to make Carter-Vickers’ loan deal from Tottenham Hotspur permanent.