CELTIC could rekindle their interest in Manchester City defender Ko Itakura, and are running the rule over his teammate and fellow centre-back Taylor Harwood-Bellis as they look to bolster their defensive options.

Japanese international Itakura had been a target for the club last summer, but he eventually joined Schalke on a season-long loan. The Bundesliga outfit reportedly had the option to purchase Itakura at the end of the season for a fee of £4.5m, but are believed to be reluctant to meet that asking price.

That has left the door open for Celtic, with manager Ange Postecoglou keen to add some cover in the heart of his defence, despite the growing likelihood that Cameron Carter-Vickers will agree a permanent deal to join the Scottish champions from Tottenham Hotspur.

Personal terms have already been agreed between Carter-Vickers and Celtic, with the clubs negotiating a series of add-ons that could take an initial fee of around £6m as high as £10m.

Meanwhile, fellow loanee Jota also looks set to remain in Glasgow, having told parent club Benfica that his heart is set on a permanent move to Celtic.

As with Carter-Vickers, an initial option to buy fee of around £6m was written into the loan agreement for the winger, with the clubs set to hold talks regarding details such as the percentage of any future sell-on fee that Benfica would be entitled to.

Herald Sport understands though that the deal is expected to be concluded at some point in the coming days, perhaps even before the end of the week, and that the 23-year-old is highly likely to get his wish to stay with Celtic.

Jota scored 13 goals and laid on 14 assists for teammates across all competitions last season.

Celtic manager Postecoglou previously stating that deals to bring Jota and Carter-Vickers to the club would hinge on the players’ desire to be there.

“I think Jota showed his love for the Celtic fans and this club,” Postecoglou said.

“He understands. He’s humble enough to know that he’s got the talent but he had the talent last year - you need the platform. This football club has given him that.

“In terms of next year, with him and Cameron we’re in a similar boat.

“If everyone wants something to happen it’ll happen.”