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Report: Celtic told to pay a 'substantial fee' to sign second Japanese on loan, this time from an English club

The Daily Record claim Ange Postecoglou has been told to pay a ‘substantial fee’ in order to convince Manchester City to loan out Ko Itakura. The Japan international is currently representing his country at the Tokyo Olympics. Celtic are keen, but it will take a sizeable loan fee to get Itakura.

Itakura, 24, has spent the last two and a half seasons in Dutch football – on loan at FC Groningen. He has since played 59 times for the Eredivisie outfit, 36 of which came during 2020-21. But he has now returned to Manchester City where he has less than 12 months remaining on his current deal.

A permanent deal would easily be agreed, but Celtic perhaps prefer a loan in order to look at Itakura closely before a permanent deal. Of course, next summer Itakura will be available on a free. The report says Celtic are keen but must pay a loan fee. He could be the second Japanese arriving at Celtic.

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Celtic desperately need additions at centre-back and Itakura is ideal

A flurry of activity came about on Wednesday night. Firstly, the expected sale of Kris Ajer to newly-promoted Premier League side Brentford went through. Then, immediately afterwards, Celtic announced the addition of Sweden international Carl Starfelt. But they need more.

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Christopher Jullien remains injured, Stephen Welsh is impressing but is still a rookie and Nir Bitton is naturally a midfielder. So, Celtic need one, if not not two more at centre-back and bringing in Itakura in on loan suits the Hoops perfectly. He could join Kyogo Furuhashi at Parkhead.

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