Sky Sports journalist Anthony Joseph has dropped Ko Itakura’s transfer hint to Celtic, giving the Hoops hope in relation to a deal after speaking to GIVEMESPORT.
He said: “Itakura is someone they’ve been tracking for quite some time, and they wanted him in last season, actually, but he chose to go on loan to Schalke, and Celtic are back in the frame for him because Schalke weren’t able to pay the €6m option to buy. Celtic might look to do a loan with an option to buy there.”
According to Joseph, the utility centre-back is not planning to remain at the newly-promoted Bundesliga side next season after the German club revealed they would not be able to produce the demanded fee for him.
The £3.15 million-rated defender has been in form for those short loan spells away from his parent club Manchester City, who are also not including him in their plans at the Ethad.
He shone for Schalke in the 2. Bundesliga, contributing to four goals in his 31 league outings and averaging an impressive 1.4 interceptions, 1.4 tackles, and three clearances.
He won 61% of his total duels and recorded an impressive 87% pass accuracy rate in the process.
Itakura’s arrival will have a negative impact on Celtic’s present centre-back, Christopher Jullien, as the Frenchman has been struggling to regain his form since returning from injury at the turn of the year.
The 29-year-old managed to make just a single appearance in all competitions under Ange Postecoglou. The potential return of Itakura will arguably drive the last nail in his coffin at Celtic.