Liverpool are showing keen interest in signing Borussia Monchengladbach defender Ko Itakura, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.
The Reds are among the clubs that are monitoring the Japanese centre-back. Romano says that the Reds have sent scouts to watch him several times this season.
Liverpool are likely to face competition from Tottenham Hotspur for the signature of the 26-year-old defender as Ange Postecoglou wanted him at Celtic.
The reliable journalist further adds that his “release clause not valid in January.”
🇯🇵 Ko Itakura, one to watch in 2024 as top clubs are monitoring Japanese CB.
Understand Liverpool have sent their scouts multiple times to follow Itakura’s performances.
Tottenham also monitored him as Ange Postecoglou wanted Ko at Celtic.
Release clause NOT valid in January. pic.twitter.com/E6Ce08dAd4
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 1, 2024
Need for centre-back
Ko joined Gladbach in the summer of 2022 from Manchester City. The Japan international didn’t play a single game for City, and went on loan to Groningen and Schalke04 before joining Monchengladbach.
The Japan international made 26 appearances in his first season for the Bundesliga club. This season he has made eight appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals.
The Reds are in need to sign a new centre-back in the January transfer window or next summer. Jurgen Klopp probably would have signed a new defender last summer itself but their transfer plans got re-shaped due to the departures of two key midfielders.
However, they need more bodies at the back. Joel Matip is currently out injured and he probably won’t be available for the rest of the season after he picked up an unfortunate ACL injury.
He has a contract at Anfield until the end of the season. So, in all probability, he may have played his last game for the club already.
Liverpool are also missing two first-choice left-backs. Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsmikias are both out injured at the moment, and Klopp needs more players in defence.
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