The newly-promoted Premier League side, Fulham have shown interest in the Sky Blues defender ahead of the transfer window and are keen to make a swoop for the player. The Japanese international has attracted quite a few clubs across Europe and will make a move away from the Etihad Stadium this summer.
AFC Bournemouth, Hoffenheim, and Freiburg are some of the other clubs who have kept their tabs on the player and are eyeing a switch for the defender before the next season kicks in. However, the Cottagers are keen to bolster their defence with the services of the Man City center-back.
Itakura joined Manchester City in 2019 and was immediately loaned out to Dutch side FC Groningen for an 18-month stint. The defender played the majority of the matches as a regular and later returned to the Sky Blues hoping to get more minutes on the pitch in the first team. Upon his arrival, the management decided to loan him out on a temporary spell to the Dutch side once again as the player was still not at par with the squad’s level.
The defender made nearly 60 appearances during his two spells with the Dutch side before signing for Schalke on a season-long loan last summer. Having appeared 31 times for the club, he managed to chip in four goals as a defender during his stint with the club. Itakura was pivotal in the team’s setup which made them achieve promotion back to the German top-flight by winning the second division.
The 25-year-old’s contract is set to expire in 2024 but the Manchester City is ready to earn profit from his sale this summer. The player too is keen to leave the club after failing to make it in the first-team setup and wants experience as a regular at another club next season.
With the likes of John Stones, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, and Nathan Ake in the City camp, it would naturally be tricky for the Japanese international to make it into the setup considering the level of experience the former display on the pitch.
While Schalke themselves want to sign Itakura on a permanent deal, they face stiff competition from the Craven Cottage club. That said, the former does have an edge over the PL side considering the center back already has experience in the German league and understands the club’s gameplay. But it remains to be seen to what extent the Bundesliga club tries to make a swoop for the player this summer or will the Cottagers hijack the deal to strengthen their defence.