Celtic were previously linked with Manchester City duo Ko Itakura and Taylor Harwood-Bellis earlier in the current summer transfer window.

However, the Hoops will now not be welcoming either defender to Parkhead this summer as Itakura joined Borussia Monchengladbach on a permanent deal and Harwood-Bellis linked up with former City defender turned manager, Vincent Kompany, at Burnley on a season-long loan.

Throughout the City defender’s three previous loan moves away at Blackburn Rovers, RSC Anderlecht and Stoke City, the centre-back made 57 league appearances in total.

In those appearances, the 20-year-old made 91 interceptions and won 32 tackles, highlighting his clear defensive talent.

Now that a move to Celtic has been ruled out for a year at least, the Hoops may yet have the chance to sign their own version of Harwood-Bellis before the current summer transfer window closes.

Last month, it was reported that the Bhoys were in talks with German club Schalke over a potential deal for their young centre-back Malick Thiaw.

In addition to having the City defender included on a list of similar players to him according to Football Transfers, the Schalke starlet has shown with his defensive talent just how alike the duo are.

In the 31 appearances he made for Schalke in the German second division last season, the centre-back ended the campaign with more interceptions (55) and more successful tackles (45) than any of his teammates.

The 20-year-old also racked up a higher average of clearances (3.4) and blocks per game (0.7) than any other player at the club.

Do Celtic need to sign a new defender?





Taking all of this into account, it’s easy to see why the German was described as a player that has “great potential” by Christian Gross.

Given that the pair are the same age and are clearly capable of growing into top-quality defenders, it’s easy to see why the Hoops have been linked with them.

If Celtic want to move on from missing out on Itakura and Harwood-Bellis, securing a deal for Thiaw should be their next move following deals for the likes of Benjamin Siegrist and Alexandro Bernabei as new faces added to Ange Postecoglou’s squad.

AND in other news: Ange could unearth a new £59m-rated sensation if Celtic sign “fantastic” £2m dynamo

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