By Harry Sykes
Leeds United could sign Japan midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi and then immediately loan him out, according to a report.
Japanese outlet Sports Nippon claim Leeds are working on deal to sign the Gamba Osaka central midfielder, 21, but it is “complicated” by the fact that he does not automatically qualify for a British work permit.
Ideguchi has only made four appearances for the Japan national team to date, which represents a hurdle in Leeds’ bit to land him in the next transfer window.
Sports Nippon report that Leeds could sign Ideguchi and then loan him out to another club in Europe in January.
Ideguchi plays in central midfield and has made a big impression for Gamba Osaka since graduating from their youth ranks.
He was named the J. League Young Player of the Year last season and made waves in Asia during the recent international break by scoring a sensational winner in Japan’s World Cup qualifier against Australia.
In 21 league appearances for Japanese top-tier club Gamba Osaka in 2017, he has scored three goals and supplied six assists.
Leeds recruitment chief Orta revealed last Monday night that fans can expect a new player to imminently arrive.
United have already signed 16 new players during a dizzying overhaul of the playing squad this summer, including headline arrivals Samuel Saiz, Pierre-Michael Lasogga, Ezgjan Alioski and Vurnon Anita.
Football Insider verdict:
Any Leeds fan who will have watched the video clip of Ideguchi’s sensational goal for Japan in their World Cup qualifier win against Australia 12 days ago will be excited about the potential of a rising star of Asian football. A central midfielder who creates and scores goals, Ideguchi clearly has pedigree and a fee of £700,000 is an absolute bargain for an ambitious Championship club. However, it is a deal that should be approached with a degree of trepidation. Japanese players have a mixed record in English football. For every Shinji Okazaki, there is a Shinji Kagawa, who was regarded as a massive coup when signed by Manchester United but could barely get out of first gear.
In other Leeds United transfer news, a top-flight striker with an excellent goals record has revealed he wants to permanently move to Elland Road next year.