Tottenham and Liverpool showing interest in former FC Groningen fan favourite

Former FC Groningen defender Ko Itakura is on the radar of some of Europe’s top clubs. The 26-year-old Japan international currently plays in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he’s been performing incredibly ever since his €5m move back in 2022.

This week, Fabrizio Romano reported that Liverpool have sent scouts multiple times to follow Itakura’s performances. Tottenham are also monitoring the centre-back as Ange Postecoglou reportedly wanted him at Celtic. The 22-time Japan international does have a release clause but it’s not valid this month, meaning a January move is unlikely.

Ko kicked off his professional career with Kawasaki Frontale before joining fellow J-League outfit Vegalta Sendai on loan in 2018. Premier League champions Manchester City signed Ko Itakura for less than £1m the following year, but he was never handed an opportunity in the first team. That may come back to bite Manchester City if the defender does make a big money move to Tottenham or Liverpool.

Itakura spent two seasons in the Eredivisie with FC Groningen, between 2019 and 2021. The defender, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, quickly became a fan favourite at the Euroborg Stadion, where he made 59 appearances. After his loan spells in the Netherlands, Ko joined Schalke 04 before landing at his permanent destination, Borussia Mönchengladbach.

GBeNeFN Hugo Hargreaves

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