Manchester City's Ko Itakura is close to Borussia Monchengladbach move

Manchester City’s Ko Itakura is closing in on a move to Borussia Monchengladbach for around £5million with Enzo Maresca in line to replace City assistant manager Juanma Lillo who takes over at Al-Sadd

  • Manchester City defender Ko Itakura has been linked with an exit this summer 
  • Borussia Monchengladbach ‘lead the race’ ahead of Fulham and Bournemouth 
  • The 25-year-old spent the last three seasons on loan at Groningen and Schalke 
  • Juanma Lillo departs City after two seasons as Pep Guardiola’s assistant
  • Lillo leaves to take over Qatari side Al-Sadd as head coach of the first team 
  • Enzo Maresca is in line to replace him after being sacked by Parma in November  

Manchester City’s Japanese defender Ko Itakura is closing in on a move to Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach. 

The Japan international is expected to agree a four-year deal once a fee is agreed between the two sides, believed to be around £5million plus the promise of additional bonus fees. 

Itakura is thought to be keen on the move, having spent the past three seasons on loan at Dutch side Groningen and German team FC Schalke. 

Japan defender Ko Itakura is linked with a permanent move away from the Etihad this summer

It was previously reported by Sky Sports’ Lyall Thomas that Borussia Monchengladbach had pulled ahead of Fulham in the race for Itakura’s signature, and it would appear that they are now close to completing the move.

Schalke were reportedly unable to match the defender’s £5.14m (€6m) buy option due to financial complications and have since bowed out of the running.

Despite joining the Premier League champions in January 2019, Itakura never made an appearance for City, having left on loan a day after his arrival. 

Itakura won the Bundesliga 2 trophy with Schalke where he spent the season on another loan 

Elsewhere at City, Pep Guardiola’s assistant manager Juanma Lillo has departed to take over Qatari side Al-Sadd. 

Juanma Lillo leaves Manchester for Qatar

Spaniard Lillo, 56, joined City in June 2020 to fill the gap left by Mikel Arteta’s departure to Arsenal.

‘My time at Manchester City has been one of the most enjoyable periods of my career,’ Lillo told the club’s official website.

‘To work alongside Pep (Guardiola), his backroom staff and this group of players has been a pleasure and I hope to have contributed in a small way to the fantastic success we have enjoyed on the pitch.’

Director of football Txiki Begiristain said: ‘Juanma has been an integral part of a team that has won back-to-back Premier League titles.

‘His dedication, passion and desire to improve our squad have been evident from our results on the pitch throughout his time at the club.’

Enzo Maresca was sacked by Parma as the side failed to secure promotion back to Serie A

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