By Harry Sykes
Japanese midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi has opened the door to a move to Leeds United by revealing that he wants to play abroad.
Ideguchi’s club Gamba Osaka admitted this week that they are in talks with Leeds over the transfer of the 21-year-old.
Chairman Takashi Yamauchi confirmed to Japanese outlet Nikkan Sports that “the offer is definitely coming” when he was quizzed about the Championship giants’ interest in Ideguchi.
The midfielder admitted his plan is to play overseas as he signalled his intentions to Japanese newspaper Sports Hochi: “The desire to go abroad has not changed. That goal is there because I am a football player.“
Leeds are trying to sign Ideguchi in the January window but their bid is complicated by the fact that he does not automatically qualify for a British work permit and has only made four appearances for the Japan national team to date.
Ideguchi 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.
Football Insider verdict:
This deal is snowballing quickly, and is only lacking a public confirmation from Andrea Radrizzani. Is Ideguchi worth all this speculation? Any Leeds fan who will have watched the video clip of his 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 reported 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.
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