An update has emerged on Celtic’s pursuit of Manchester City defender Ko Itakura…
According to Sky Sports, Celtic are unlikely to sign Manchester City centre-back Ko Itakura on loan this month despite tracking him over the summer.
The report does not give a reason for the prospective move falling through, but does mention that the Hoops watched him play at the Olympics for Japan.
Celtic fans will be frustrated with this worrying update from Sky Sports, as it now seems like the Japan international will not be arriving at Parkhead this summer. Although it does not completely rule out the possibility of him coming to Scotland, the signs are not promising at the moment and supporters could be gutted because he could be a shrewd addition to the squad.
The Cityzens man spent last season on loan to Groningen in the Eredivisie and put in some stout defensive performances. In 35 starts, he averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.12, making 4.2 clearances and 2.0 interceptions per game.
Former Dutch footballer Haans Kray lauded him as ‘incredibly fast’ and hailed his impact in the Netherlands. He said: “One of the very best central defenders in the Eredivisie. He can play football well, he can head well and he is incredibly fast. He’s such a good player but Manchester City don’t see anything in him.”
This shows that he has the ability to standout in the Eredivise as a centre-back, whilst not quite having the quality – in Pep Guardiola’s eyes – to make it in the Premier League for the champions. Although it is difficult to judge the difference between the Eredivisie and the Scottish Premiership, Celtic are reportedly closing in on the signing of Georgios Giakoumakis from VVV-Venlo – suggesting that the club believe the skills on show are transferable to their level.
Therefore, he could have been a solid signing for Celtic as he proved himself to be a reliable defender in the Netherlands and could have brought those qualities along with him to Parkhead. This is why fans will be fuming that it is now unlikely to happen.