Report: EPL duo actively pursuing Ko Itakura as Celtic monitoring events

By David Walton

May 29, 2022

English Premier League duo Fulham and Bournemouth are actively pursuing Celtic-linked Ko Itakura, according to Sky Sports.

Itakura has just come off a season with Schalke in which he managed promotion to the Bundesliga. However, the German club are struggling to pay the £6m option-to-buy fee whilst they only have until May 31st to strike an agreement [WAZ].

Celtic were credited with an interest in the centre-back last week too. Sky Sports reported that the Hoops were monitoring events but had yet to make any contact with City.

Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Sky have also claimed that Bundesliga clubs Freiburg and Hoffenheim are interested in the player too. All of a sudden, there appears to be plenty of clubs queuing up to make their move.

Itakura has made 8 international appearances for the Japanese national team [Transfermarkt], but it remains to be seen how much City would want for the player’s services.

Celtic are reportedly in the market for a new centre-back regardless of whether Cameron Carter-Vickers signs up on a permanent basis [The Athletic].

Ko Itakura becoming a hot commodity after Schalke season

Itakura certainly appears to be building up a level of interest in his services. No surprises really given how much of an impact he made in Germany and on a football club as reputable as Schalke.

But the big unknown here is how much Man City will want for the player. Just because there was a reported £6m option in his Schalke loan, it doesn’t mean City will stick to the same valuation for other interested suitors. He’s an improved player now than he was last summer.

Not to mention the high level of interest could be enough to see the English club ask for a greater figure. Until we find that out, it’s difficult to gauge whether this one is even a goer for Celtic. Granted, being in the final year of his contract this summer should make the asking price a lot more reasonable than it may have been.

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Again, these are situations in which the effect of having guaranteed UCL football can be felt. How that competes with guaranteed EPL football, of course, is anyone’s guess. It’s all down to the individual player.

Itakura was asked last summer by loan club Groningen what his dreams in football are. He stated that it was to join a world famous football club. Celtic could help him reach that ambition more than any of the other interested parties.

For now, however, we wait to see whether the Hoops even make a move.

In other news, Greek Report: Gus Poyet eyeing up important role for Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis