The 25-year-old is currently on loan at the second tier outfit from Manchester City and has become a key man with the Ruhr giants.


Itakura has clocked 26 appearances in the 2. Bundesliga for Schalke this season, chipping in with four goals from his position of centre-back.



Schalke can trigger a purchase clause of €4.5m to keep Itakura, but that could be tough to do if they do not secure promotion to the Bundesliga.


Schroder admits that his side’s remaining five games – they sit top of the table but only four points separate first from fifth – are the focus and then talks will be held with Manchester City.



“The focus is on the next five games”, Schroder told German daily WAZ.


“After that we will sit down and see what is possible.”



Itakura primarily operates as a centre-back for Schalke, however he is also able to operate as a defensive midfielder and has done so in three of Schalke’s last four games.


And Schroder is delighted with what the Japanese can offer in either role.


“Regardless of whether he plays in central defence or as a 6, he can give the team a lot.”


Itakura has made eight appearances for Japan on the international stage.