The true picture surrounding Celtic and Ko Itakura

By David Walton

June 15, 2022

Earlier this summer, Celtic were linked with a move for Japanese international Ko Itakura.

Sky Sports stated that the Hoops were “monitoring” both Itakura and Manchester City defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis. It made sense given the club could do with another centre-back this summer regardless of whether Cameron Carter-Vickers signed permanently or not.

However, since then, it appears as though some have been taking the reported interest a touch too far. As if this is some sort of integral deal to Ange Postecoglou’s summer plans at Parkhead.

Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images

The latest on the story is that Borussia Monchengladbach are ready to offer him a move back to Germany after his Schalke loan spell came to an end. Sky Sports reporter Lyall Thomas claimed last night that the Bundesliga side were now “leading the race” to get him.

This has, as you would imagine, been reported elsewhere. Football Scotland stated that Celtic’s transfer hopes had been “dented” with regards to the centre-back. Meanwhile, the Scotsman said that Celtic could “miss out” on Itakura after Monchengladbach’s reported interest.

But it’s important to remember the fact that Celtic haven’t even been reported to have placed a bid on the table for the player just yet. All that’s been claimed is that we’re monitoring him.

Celtic have yet to reportedly take any interest in Itakura further

We can’t lose a race that we simply haven’t put ourselves in. To use the narrative of us potentially missing out on the player or having our transfer hopes suffer a blow suggests this is a deal Ange is wanting to get done.

Sure, when Celtic reportedly table an offer and look to sell themselves to the Japanese international – that’s when you can say we’re firmly in the race. That’s when you can say another club potentially signing him is a blow for us.

But it’s important to get this narrative right. Ange Postecoglou, as things stand, won’t be losing out on any of his top targets if Itakura joins Monchengladbach or anyone else for that matter. All he’ll be losing is a player the club were deciding to keep an eye on.

Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

If Celtic feel the situation is serious enough, we’ll enter the picture ourselves. But we can’t say every single player Celtic are linked with is some sort of blow for the club if we don’t sign them.

Ange will know exactly what he wants this summer. If Itakura is on that list, we’re going to find that out very soon. But for now? It’s not a statement we can justify.

As things stand, he’s just another in a long list of players we’re simply keeping tabs on.

In other news, Why now is the right time for Celtic to reignite interest in Aaron Mooy