Fulham and Bournemouth are among a host of clubs to shown an interest in centre-back Ko Itakura, who is at Manchester City.
Whilst the player is contracted to the Premier League champions, he hasn’t played for City, with his game time in recent years coming out on loan.
The latest temporary spell has been with Schalke in Germany, with Itakura starring as they won promotion back to the Bundesliga. However, with a £6m fee required to make the move a permanent one, it’s a deal they may not be able to afford.
That’s opened up the possibility for Itakura to go elsewhere, and Sky Sports reporter Lyall Thomas revealed that the newly-promoted Cottagers and Cherries are both keeping tabs on the Japanese international.
However, any transfer for either club won’t be straightforward, as the update also explains that German top-flight duo Hoffenheim and Freiburg are monitoring the defender.
As well as that, Itakura is also believed to be on the radar of Scottish champions Celtic, who will be able to offer Itakura Champions League football.
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It’s clear that Itakura is a very talented player as he has done very well at Schalke and has represented his country regularly in recent years.
At 25-years-old, he is approaching his peak years and could turn out to be a shrewd addition for Fulham or Bournemouth, who both need to bring in at least one centre-back during this transfer window.
Of course, the obvious challenge to this deal is the number of rival clubs showing an interest but the chance to play Premier League football is going to appeal to Itakura.
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.