Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing Borussia Monchengladbach defender Ko Itakura, and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has provided an exclusive update to GIVEMESPORT on their pursuit, suggesting that they could face competition to secure his signature.
Although Spurs brought in Radu Dragusin from Genoa in the January transfer window, Eric Dier also departed, joining Bundesliga side Bayern Munich. As a result, Ange Postecoglou and his recruitment team could be in the market for another centre-back, whether that be this month or in the summer transfer window. Spurs might not be desperate to reinforce their defence any further in the winter window, but planning ahead will be hugely beneficial as they continue to grow.
However, with other clubs showing an interest in signing Itakura, Tottenham might need to act fast to win the race. Liverpool are reportedly one of the sides who are considering a move, so the north London outfit might feel that a January move is necessary if they want to secure their target.
Postecoglou is a fan of Itakura
Back in 2022, Sky Sports journalist Anthony Joseph told GIVEMESPORT that Celtic were interested in signing Itakura at a time when Postecoglou was in charge of the Scottish Premiership side. Although the Australian tactician couldn’t get a deal over the line, he hasn’t given up in his pursuit of working with the Japanese defender.
Ko Itakura – Bundesliga stats 2023/2024
Aerials Won Per Game
Tackles Per Game
Interceptions Per Game
Statistics via WhoScored – Correct as of 24/01/2024
Now, it’s understood that Tottenham and Liverpool are interested in signing Itakura, who has a release clause in his contract. The two Premier League sides have scouted the defender in recent months, but his release clause isn’t active in January. The 26-year-old has previously plied his trade in England with Manchester City, but the Japanese international didn’t make the grade at the Etihad Stadium.
Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge previously told GIVEMESPORT that Spurs won’t say no in the transfer market if the right opportunity arises. Although signing an additional defender in January might not appear like an immediate priority, the north London club don’t want to miss out on any targets if a player becomes available. As the Lilywhites fight to qualify for Champions League football ahead of next season, adding quality throughout their squad for competition and depth reasons could be pivotal in the race to finish in the top four of the Premier League.
Romano has suggested that Itakura, who has been described as ‘incredibly fast’, is a player that Tottenham admire with Postecoglou particularly keen on the Bundesliga defender. The Italian journalist adds that Liverpool are also in the mix and he’s hinted that they could be set to battle it out in the summer transfer window, when his release clause becomes active. Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, Romano said…
“It’s a player they like, especially Ange Postecoglou. From what I heard Postecoglou already knew the player very well since he was at Celtic, so he always had him on the list. Also, Liverpool sent their scouts multiple times to follow the boy. So I think Tottenham and Liverpool could be in the mix in the summer transfer window for Itakura. But from what I’m hearing Borussia Monchengladbach are really pushing to sign a new contract with Itakura because the current contract includes a release clause, not valid in January but valid in the summer transfer window. They want to change the value of the release clause and to improve his salary.”
Spurs eyeing midfielder in January
According to the Independent, Spurs are in the market to sign a ‘running midfielder’ in the January transfer window, with Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher one of their priority targets. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s future is in doubt, so Spurs could be left short of options in the middle of the park in the near future.
Italian journalist Romano has also revealed to GIVEMESPORT that Tottenham are one of many clubs around Europe who are monitoring Atalanta midfielder Ederson. The transfer guru confirms that a move in the summer is more likely, with the Serie A side unwilling to allow him to depart in the winter window. Pape Matar Sarr and Yves Bissouma are currently on international duty, so Postecoglou might be hoping they can get a deal done this month.