Celtic were ‘desperate’ to sign Manchester City defender Ko Itakura this summer, according to Schalke 04 sporting director Rouven Schroeder.
The Lowdown: Celtic’s defensive additions
The Hoops were extremely busy over the summer in the transfer market and managed to bring in 12 players. Four of those were centre-backs in Carl Starfelt, Camron Carter-Vickers, Liam Scales and Osaze Urhoghide.
They were also seemingly keen on Itakura, who shares the same agency as Mikey Johnston, but the Japanese defender moved to Germany instead.
The Latest: Schroeder’s comments
Schalke secured Itakura’s services on loan and have the option to make a move permanent next summer for £3.4m.
Their sporting director Schroeder was talking to the media about the 6 foot 1 defender, as relayed by The Scottish Sun, and he said that the Hoops were ‘desperate’ to land the Japan international, revealing:
“It took a lot of patience to sign him from Manchester City.
“For example, Celtic had tracked him for a year and were desperate to sign him, but we managed to beat them to it.”
Where should Ange strengthen first in January?
The Verdict: Ange wants more
Celtic may have missed a trick by missing out on Itakura, who appears to be at the top of his game with a career-high £3.15m Transfermarkt valuation.
Although Ange Postecoglou added four centre-backs to his ranks, it is believed that he wants more options in that department – not surprising given the defensive horror show against Real Betis last week.
That could have been Itakura, described as ‘incredibly fast’, if they had gotten their way, but the Hoops will now need to look elsewhere for centre-back reinforcements ahead of the winter transfer window.
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