Manchester City defender Ko Itakura could be set for a return to Germany amid interest from Borussia Monchengladbach.
According to a report from Calciomercato, Borussia Monchengladbach have expressed interest in Ko Itakura. The Manchester City defender is coming on the back of a successful loan spell at FC Schalke and a return to Germany could be in the offing.
A native of Yokohama, Japan, Itakura has been a member of the Manchester City team since early 2019 when he was brought in for a fee of just over €1 million. The defender spent two and a half years on loan at Groningen, making 59 competitive appearances for the Dutch outfit.
Itakura’s biggest breakthrough, though, came at Schalke. He had joined the Royal Blues last summer on a season-long loan deal, in order to help the German bigwigs return to the Bundesliga. The 25-year-old did just that, becoming a key cog in Schalke’s backline and helping S04 win the 2. Bundesliga title.
Making 31 league appearances throughout the season, Itakura made a solid impression with his imposing frame and no-nonsense defending. Along with Marcin Kaminski and Malick Thiaw, he helped Schalke remain resolute at the back, though the promotion was won by a world-class attack that racked up 72 goals.
Nevertheless, Itakura’s performances have not gone unnoticed, with newly-promoted Premier League club Fulham keen, while new Borussia Monchengladbach coach Daniel Farke has also expressed a desire to snap him up in the coming summer.
The Foals are fresh from the departure of Matthias Ginter, who has returned to his former club SC Freiburg. They need immediate defensive reinforcements in order to add more competition for Nico Elvedi and Marvin Friedrich next season.
With Manchester City already on the prowl for a new centre-back, including Jose Maria Gimenez, the Premier League champions should not object to Itakura’s move back to Germany. In Gladbach, the defender could have an opportunity of becoming a part of a traditional German giant that will look to compete for European spots.
A return to Schalke, though, should not be ruled out, especially after their promotion back to the top-flight. Itakura already has an excellent partnership with Thiaw and Kaminski, and his potential return to Veltins Arena could go a long way in helping the Royal Blues restore its lost glory in the coming season.