Celtic appear to have lost out to Bundesliga 2 side Schalke in the battle to sign Manchester City centre-back Ko Itakura.
Sky Germany journalist Max Bielefeld has revealed that the German club have agreed a loan deal with an option to buy the Japanese international at the end of the season. The defender is expected to fly out for a medical today:
Ko Itakura from Manchester City is very close to a move to Schalke 04! ?✅
Both clubs have agreed on a loan deal plus option to buy for #S04 (4m€)
The center back will fly to Germany tomorrow to pass his medical and sign his contract ✍?#TransferUpdate pic.twitter.com/m08a3EDAYi
— Max Bielefeld (@Sky_MaxB) August 17, 2021
Itakura is the second centre-half that the Hoops have missed out on in the past few days, with Liverpool’s Ben Davies having also decided to turn down a switch to Celtic Park after agreeing to join Sheffield United.
It’s an area of the pitch that is in badly need of strengthening, despite the addition of Carl Starfelt from Rubin Kazan last month. Christopher Jullien remains sidelined with a knee injury, meaning manager Ange Postecoglou only has one other recognised central defender to choose from in Stephen Welsh, as well as Nir Bitton.