Schalke’s chances of signing Ko Itakura on a permanent basis from Manchester City are looking increasingly slim as they struggle to raise the money for him.

That’s according to WAZ, who explain alongside the transfer fee, the club also need to work out a contract with the defender.

Itakura has been on loan with the German side since the summer and has played a key role in helping them return to the Bundesliga.

They have an option to make his loan deal a permanent one for €5.5m, but we’ve covered several reports on how they simply can’t afford that without a big sale first.

WAZ continue that line today, explaining the club are ‘scraping together every penny’ to sign Itakura from Manchester City.

However, they cannot yet see where they are getting the money from, having failed to secure deals for Ozan Kabak, Amine Harit or Malick Thiaw.

They would have to make a gamble and hope money comes in from a sale, but those in charge of the club aren’t keen on that ‘risky strategy’ due to the precarious financial situation at the club.

They only have until May 31st to sign Itakura, but alongside the €5.5m fee, they also have to negotiate the terms of his contract, a further monetary issue.

Both those mean a deal is now looking unlikely before that deadline unless a new deal can somehow be struck with Manchester City.

That seems unlikely as Itakura has suitors elsewhere, with it stated he is ‘being courted by many clubs’.

This is backed up by Sky Sports Germany, who say three Bundesliga clubs are also keen on the Japanese defender.