Celtic have held talks with Manchester City over a potential loan deal for Ko Itakura. The 24-year-old central defender would bolster Celtic’s back line but given that he is at the Olympics in Japan, it means that he would not be available in the near future.
According to The Express’ Ryan Taylor, the clubs have held talks but City are demanding a high loan fee for the defender.
Celtic have held talks with #ManCity over a potential loan for Ko Itakura. @ManCity are demanding a 'substantial' loan fee that could force Celtic to explore other options. Discussions behind the scenes are ongoing while the player is at the Olympics.[via @RyanTaylorSport]
— City Xtra (@City_Xtra) July 27, 2021
The player has just five appearances for the Japanese National Team, scoring once in a 10-0 win over Myanmar. Celtic have been touted as considering a deal for Mario Vuskovic from Hajduk Split as well as a move for Erik Sviatchenko from FC Midtjylland. Carl Starfelt has been signed but is yet to begin training with the club given his quarantine after arriving from Moscow.
There are a number of key positions that the manager will likely see to address and there are a few targets already mentioned but Postecoglou is said to want another CB, a RB, a winger and a defensive midfielder.
Itakura would be available for a cut-price deal if we pursued a permanent transfer given his contract status and it would be interesting to see if Celtic utilise the unofficial City link in order to sign the player.
City appear to want a substantial loan fee in lieu of a transfer fee at the end of the spell as the player will be free to contract as of January.