Centre-back remains a position of uncertainty for Celtic heading towards the 2022/23 season. Christopher Jullien’s future at Parkhead is pretty much up in the air after he failed to break into Ange Postecoglou’s plans following his return from long-term injury, making only a solitary appearance off the bench in the Scottish Cup.
On the other hand, Cameron Carter-Vickers was a rock at the back throughout the season but he was only on loan from Tottenham Hotspur. Celtic are believed to be in talks over a permanent switch and there have been some positive rumours coming out, but until it is official, nothing is certain.
Thus, Celtic could very well need to go after another centre-back this summer and one player that they have been linked with is Ko Itakura of Manchester City.
Itakura enjoyed a terrific season out on loan at Schalke, who had an option to buy included in the deal. But the German club are not believed to be in the best financial situation right now and have decided against signing the Japanese star on a permanent basis. As a result, there could be a big chance for Celtic to swoop in this summer and bring him to Parkhead.
Itakura reveals what he wants at next club amid rumours of Celtic interest
“I want to go to a club that needs me. I haven’t decided yet and I don’t know where it will be, but I hope I can show myself and play games wherever I go.”
Thus, it is pretty clear that Itakura is looking to be a first-team star wherever he ends up next. Do Celtic need another starter at centre-back though, if they are able to sign Carter-Vickers on a permanent basis from Tottenham Hotspur?
Starfelt and Carter-Vickers did form a very formidable partnership in the heart of defence in Celtic’s title-winning 2021/22 season.
It is believed that the option to buy in Itakura’s loan deal was around €6 million, which would be a significant figure to shell out if Celtic are not certain that he will start week in, week out.
This article was originally posted here