Itakura joined Eredivisie club Groningen on loan immediately after joining Manchester City from Kawasaki Frontale in the winter transfer window of 2019.


The Japan international has been plying his trade for the Dutch top flight club for the last two-and-a-half seasons and Groningen boss Buijs has been impressed with how he has developed as a player.



However, the 38-year-old has admitted that it is unlikely that Groningen will be able to bring Itakura back to the club on another loan deal in the summer despite being keen to retain his services.


Buijs went on to tip the Manchester City star, who has courted interest from Bundesliga clubs, to make a good transfer move at the end of the season.



We are very happy with Ko“, Buijs told Dutch magazine Voetbal International.


He plays well and is also a top professional, who does everything possible every day to get better.



If you look at how he has developed, we probably won’t be able to do this [take him on loan] for another season.


I say this with some pain in my heart because I would love to keep him here longer, but I think Ko will make a very nice transfer this summer.


If Itakura seals a move away from Manchester City this summer, Groningen are claimed to be unlikely to be left empty handed, having included a provision in their agreement with the Citizens.