Celtic-linked Ko Itakura wants dream move to a "world-famous club"

By David Walton

July 22, 2021

Celtic-linked centre-back Ko Itakura has stated that it’s his dream to make a move to a world-famous club.

Last night, the Daily Record reported that Ange Postecoglou is still interested in a move for the Man City centre-back. This comes after a successful two-and-a-half years on loan to Groningen.

Celtic yesterday completed the signing of Carl Starfelt to add to their centre-back ranks. However, with Kris Ajer and Shane Duffy gone, the Hoops could do with another in the coming weeks.

Itakura has been speaking with Groningen’s official website, and as he talked about his time in Holland, he spoke about his desire to sign for a “world-famous club”.

“Groningen is the place where I was able to put myself on the map, where I learned to communicate in a foreign language. Everything was here the first time, at the next club it is no longer the first time. 

“I have grown as a person and as a footballer. My dream is that one day I will play for a world famous club so that everyone knows who Ko Itakura is. 

“But I think that after my career I always want to come back to FC Groningen, it is such a club. That says it all.”

Ko Itakura dream move could easily take him to Celtic Park

If Celtic was the next destination for Itakura, we would seemingly tick his boxes. Parkhead has proven to be a hotbed in the past for young talent looking to grow their profile. That’s something Itakura will be keen to do.

Whilst his time in Groningen will have been extremely valuable, it’s only the beginning. He’s still to develop that experience of winning titles. An ability to deal with that pressure of winning on a weekly basis. That’s what the expectation levels are like on a weekly basis at the world’s biggest clubs.

Celtic are in a position where they can offer Itakura that kind of development and growth. And this would be a deal that worked out for all parties too.

Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Suggestions from the Record are that any move would be a loan. Even so, there could be scope there to make it a prolonged one. And if he was to add to our options at the back, that would only help our title fight this season.

Should Celtic leave the centre-back situation as is, we’re still short. We wouldn’t have two reliable options for each spot. That is of course unless Postecoglou is planning to give Dane Murray or Osaze Urhoghide a big run in the first-team squad this season.

But Itakura will be one of many options available to Celtic this summer. As he continues to represent his country at the Olympics, he’ll soon need to make a move on his next move.

In other news: Davie Provan believes Ryan Christie is “determined to leave” Celtic