Celtic are considering a double approach on Manchester City for defensive duo Ko Itakura and Taylor Harwood-Bellis, according to a report.
The Scottish champions are busy making plans for next season’s title defence as well as what they hope will be a successful European campaign. And while Ange Postecoglou’s troops will have revelled in their Scottish Premiership success, they will have watched with envy as Rangers enjoyed a run through to the Europa League final.
As such, Thursday’s Transfer Gossip claims a deal for Tottenham’s Cameron Carter-Vickers is closing in. They have agreed personal terms with the loanee, with Spurs now putting a deadline on the potential deal.
However, Postecoglou is seemingly lining up alternatives should a deal for Carter-Vickers fail to get off the ground.
And as per Sky Sports, the Bhoys are casting admiring glances towards the Etihad and their huge pool of players.
Top of their wanted list, they report, is Japan international Itakura. He has spent the 2021/22 season on loan at Schalke, where he played a leading role in their promotion back to the Bundesliga.
Schalke’s Itakura hopes take a tumble
Starring in 32 games, the centre-half or holding midfielder, scored four times for the Royal Blues.
Schalke have a £6m option to make the move permanent, but are struggling to meet that fee.
Now, with a return to City on the cards, the 25-year-old looks unlikely to make the breakthrough under Pep Guardiola.
And that will seemingly open the door on a possible switch to Parkhead, with Celtic having previously been linked with Itakura.
He is not the only defensive recruit Celtic are eyeing either. They are also keen on a deal for Harwood-Bellis.
The 20-year-old has been capped eight times at England U21 level and is rated highly by Manchester City.
However, they would be seemingly open to allowing him to leave on loan, having just completed a similar spell at Stoke.
City transfer path a familar one for Celtic
The move for both players certainly make a lot of sense for Celtic.
They have a strong relationship with City, having signed a number of their fringe players over the years.
Indeed, Patrick Roberts, Dedryck Boyata, Olivier Ntcham, Jason Denayer and Jeremie Frimpong have all made the move in recent years.
And with Postecoglou having to spend his money smartly, deals for both players would tick a lot of boxes for the Australian.
Their signings could also kick-off a very busy period for Celtic.
Postecoglou also hopes to wrap up the signing of Carter-Vickers. The boss is also growing in confidence that a permanent deal for loan winger Jota.
The Portuguese star will be cost a reported £6.5m from Benfica, with the signing looking a bargain. He scored nine goals and weighed in with 10 assists during an excellent season for the Bhoys.