The lowdown: Eternal loanees
Both Ikatura and Harwood-Bellis have spent much of their careers out on loan away from the Etihad in recent times, including the majority of the 2021/22 campaign.
Japan international defender Ikatura signed for City in 2019 but has since had two spells at FC Groningen before joining FC Schalke 04 for the recent season.
Meanwhile, academy graduate Harwood-Bellis has spent time on loan at Blackburn Rovers and Anderlecht but finished the term at Championship outfit Stoke, having joined in January.
As both are set to return to Manchester for pre-season, their longer-term futures could be in jeopardy.
The latest: Celtic interested
As per Sky Sports, Scottish Premiership champions Celtic are believed to be ‘monitoring’ Manchester City’s 25-year-old Ikatura and 20-year-old Harwood-Bellis.
Both central defenders are on the radar of the Glasgow giants as it’s believed Schalke are struggling to meet a £6million option to buy for the eight-cap Japan ace.
The report confirms at present ‘no contact’ has been made, however, Celtic may look to utilise a ‘good relationship’ with the club in an attempt to sign the City pair.
The verdict: Double departure possible
Allowing the permanent transfer of Ikatura seems the best move for all parties at this stage as the Japanese centre-back approaches three years at the club without so much of a sniff at first-team action under Pep Guardiola.
Signed for just £990,000 from J1-League side Kawasaki Frontale (Transfermarkt), the Citizens will make a profit on their expenditure and as such should be willing to sanction the sale.
The exit of Harwood-Bellis is a more complicated situation, as the starlet hailed for a ‘fantastic’ display against Oxford United in 2019 by Raheem Sterling clearly has a bright future and Guardiola may yet see a pathway to the senior side for the Stockport-born defender.
Perhaps a loan move to Celtic could be negotiated as the best option for the four-cap England Under 21 prospect.
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