Path is clear to bring in Ko Itakura if Celtic truly want him

By John McGinley

August 6, 2021

After suffering Olympic heartache in Japan, there is now no barrier to a Ko Itakura move to Celtic this summer.

Itakura has been linked extensively with a transfer to the Bhoys from Manchester City this summer, either on a loan or permanent basis.

However, he’s been heavily involved in Japan’s quest for a footballing medal at the Tokyo Olympics, effectively meaning that an imminent move to the Bhoys was never on the cards.

That campaign is now over though after his Japan side missed out on a bronze medal at the expense of Mexico earlier today.

If Celtic truly want him, there is now no real barrier to his signature.

Itakura only has a year left on his City contract and The Express have reported he is expected to leave the club this summer.

FK Jablonec 2-4 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

FK Jablonec 2-4 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

The 24-year-old, who also has 5-caps with Japan’s senior side, impressed in Eredivisie over the last two seasons on loan with Groningen.

Likely well known to Postecoglou given his reputation in the City Football Group, as well as a potential ally to new signing Kyogo Furuhashi, the move makes sense on a few levels.

Celtic do need another central defender despite the arrival of Carl Starfelt. Nir Bitton simply isn’t up to it and Christopher Jullien is still a while away from a return to the first-team squad.

The full-back areas may be a bigger priority, but adding more quality and depth to central defence should also be worked on before the end of the month.

Itakura fits the bill. Go and get him if you want him Celtic.

In other news, New Celtic star James McCarthy dispels injury record worries; rejected English teams.