Not too long ago, defence was viewed as an area of weakness for Celtic, as they struggled to keep the ball out of their own net in the 2020/21 season. It was one of the major reasons that they failed in their quest to win 10IAR. It must said though that the club improved immensely last season following the arrival of Carl Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Josip Juranovic, while Greg Taylor stepped up to the plate as well.
Carter-Vickers has been signed on a permanent basis after his brilliant loan spell from Tottenham Hotspur, but Celtic could still find themselves in need of a centre-back, with the future of Christopher Jullien unclear.
The Frenchman returned from a long-term injury earlier this year but has found it very difficult to break into Ange Postecoglou’s plans. He made a single appearance last season for the club and naturally, has been linked with a move away from the club this summer.
If that turned out to be the case, Celtic would need to bring in another centre-back, with Stephen Welsh not ready to be a regular starter if either Carter-Vickers or Starfelt picked up an injury. One man who could be in the Hoops’ sights though is Ko Itakura, who they had been linked with last summer as well but failed to sign. And now, there appears to be a positive update on the situation.
Celtic could have chance to sign the long-term target this summer
As reported by GIVEMESPORT, Anthony Joseph said about the Celtic situation:
“Itakura is someone they’ve been tracking for quite some time and they wanted him in last season, actually, but he chose to go on loan to Schalke, and Celtic are back in the frame for him because Schalke weren’t able to pay the €6m option to buy. Celtic might look to do a loan with an option to buy there.”
Itakura joined Schalke on loan from Manchester City last summer and the German club had the option to sign him on a permanent basis for a transfer fee of €6 million but could not take it due to the economic situation at the moment, despite the player’s good performances.
This does open up the door for Celtic to make a move for Itakura, who does not appear to have a long-term future at Manchester City. And a loan with an option to buy could be the perfect deal for them, especially after the successes of Carter-Vickers and Jota while on similar deals.
This article was originally posted here