Celtic monitoring Man City duo Ko Itakura and Taylor Harwood-Bellis as Hoops look to add defensive reinforcements

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No contact has been made with the English Premier League champions but Hoops manager Ange Postecoglou is eager to bolster his rearguard

Celtic are reportedly monitoring the situation of Manchester City duo Ko Itakura and Taylor Harwood-Bellis ahead of a potential summer swoop.

Hoops manager Ange Postecoglou is looking to strengthen his defensive options, with the future of French centre-back Christopher Jullien uncertain.

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Talks remain ongoing with Tottenham Hotspur loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers over a permanent move to Parkhead, while the club are also exploring left-back options.

Taylor Harwood-Bellis has made eight senior appearances for Manchester City. Credit: Getty.Taylor Harwood-Bellis has made eight senior appearances for Manchester City. Credit: Getty.
Taylor Harwood-Bellis has made eight senior appearances for Manchester City. Credit: Getty. | AFP via Getty Images

GlasgowWorld reported earlier this month that Celtic were close to finalising a deal to sign Iraq international Mohanad Jeazhe from Swedish outfit Hammarby IF, but final negotiations are yet to take place with the defender.

Frozen-out centre-back Jullien has been attracting strong interest from clubs in his homeland after a hugely frustrating season with the Scottish champions.

The 29-year-old returned from a long-term ACL injury back in January but struggled to dislodge favoured pairing Carter-Vickers and Carl Starfelt during the second half of the campaign.

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Jullien admitted in an interview with ‘Goal’ last week he wasn’t satisfied with his recent game-time at Parkhead after featuring for just 16 minutes of a Scottish Cup tie against Raith Rovers.

The former Toulouse defender is unlikely to accept another bit-part role next season and he could depart when the transfer window opens.

If an offer is accepted, Celtic may look to step up their interest in highly-rated youngsters Itakura and Harwood-Bellis, regardless of whether Carter-Vickers joins.

Ko Itakura takes part in a training session ahead of a friendly match between Japan and Panama in AustriaKo Itakura takes part in a training session ahead of a friendly match between Japan and Panama in Austria
Ko Itakura takes part in a training session ahead of a friendly match between Japan and Panama in Austria

Japan international Itaukra, who was rumoured to be on Postecoglou’s transfer list last summer, spent the entirety of this season on loan at Schalke.

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The German club retain an option-to-buy the 25-year-old but Sky Sports claim they are struggling to pay the agreed £6million fee.

England Under-21 international Harwood-Bellis has enjoyed a successful loan spell in the Championship at Stoke City and is under contract until 2024.

No contact has yet been made with the English Premier League champions but Celtic have built a good relationship with the City Football Group, having previously brought in Patrick Roberts, Dedryck Boyata, Jason Denayer, Olivier Ntcham, John Guidetti and Daniel Arzani.

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