By Will Butcher
Arsene Wenger is close to securing a deal that will bring Japan international Takuma Asano to the Emirates, according to a report.
The 21-year-old plays for Sanfrecce Hiroshima, and has impressed Wenger’s scouts after winning J-League rookie of the year.
The Daily Mail claim that Wenger sees him as one for the future and is likely to send him out on loan, but will allow him to train with the first-team for the time being.
The striker is currently seen as one of the biggest prospects in Asian football. He has also made five appearances for his national side, scoring one goal in a 7-2 win against Bulgaria.
Asano, who stands at 5ft 7in and wears the number 10 shirt, will become the third Japanese player to play for Arsenal.
Speed merchant Ryo Miyachi is now plying his trade in Germany after five injury-hit seasons under Wenger, whilst Junichi Inamoto played under Wenger before moving onto West Brom.
Asano has already won the J-League twice, as well as lifting three Japanese Super Cups and being part of the side that won the under-23 Asian Championship.
Despite the signing of Asano, Wenger is still expected to delve back into the window for a striker. Alexandre Lacazette is high on the Frenchman’s shopping list, but Lyon’s asking price of £45 million could prove too much for Wenger’s liking.
The 66-year-old has also been rumoured to make moves for Karim Benzema, Edinson Cavani and Gonzalo Higuain.
In other Arsenal transfer news, Bayern Munich are considering a bid for this French star.