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Manchester City Hold Out For Bidding War As Premier League Clubs Pursue Defender

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Manchester City Hold Out For Bidding War As Premier League Clubs Pursue Defender

Manchester City have had a busy summer transfer window already.

With the acquisition of sought after Norwegian striker Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, and the impending exit of forward Gabriel Jesus to Arsenal, Etihad officials are closing in on completing their business for the summer.

The comings and goings to and from the Premier League champions is not set to slow down anytime soon however, with several more moves going both ways tabled and widely reported.

Amongst these is the future of Japanese international centre-back, Ko Itakura - who joined Manchester City back in 2019.

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Ko Itakura celebrates silverware with Schalke. dpa picture alliance / Alamy
Ko Itakura celebrates silverware with Schalke. dpa picture alliance / Alamy

The player has never made a senior appearance for the Manchester-based club, instead spending last season out on loan at German second division club Schalke 04.

Itakura, 25, can play either as a centre-back or as a defensive midfielder, making him a useful utility player for those interested.

Several clubs have shown an interest in the Japanese player, with Scottish champions Celtic being a rumoured destination, but it has recently been Borussia Mönchengladbach as the reported front runner.

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The Bundesliga club’s pursuit of Itakura has hit a snag this week though, according to German newspaper Bild.

Although the Japanese international has signalled that the club would be his first choice, other teams from the Premier League are now showing an interest.

Manchester City will hope to now sell the player for an increased price, with the interest growing amongst their direct opponents on home soil.

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Ko Itakura’s positional fluidity would fit Mönchengladbach perfectly, as the German club are in the market for a number six this summer and newly-appointed manager Daniel Farke relayed this.

Ko Itakura in action for Japan.
Ko Itakura in action for Japan.

“You can never have enough players who bring new quality to the team."

"But I’m also realistic to know that the talks are difficult,” said Farke following a club training session.

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Ko Itakura made 32 appearances for Schalke last season and scored four goals in the past season, showing a good understanding of the German game.

Itakura is one of a couple of Manchester City defenders whose future at the Etihad Stadium remains uncertain as the transfer window rolls on.

Chelsea are understood to be showing a keen interest in Nathan Ake - who may seek increased game time next season, although is known to be happy with his life in Manchester at present.

Elsewhere, Oleksandr Zinchenko is attracting interest from across the Premier League, and with City known to be in the market for Brighton's Marc Cucurella, he may be attracted to a proposal this summer.

Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy

Topics: Manchester City, Manchester City Transfer News & Rumours, Premier League, Bundesliga, Transfers

Edward Burnett
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