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Okazaki leaves Stuttgart for Mainz

Kyodo

Mainz on Tuesday announced it has signed Japan international striker Shinji Okazaki from Bundesliga rivals Stuttgart for an undisclosed fee.

Okazaki, who scored twice for Japan at the Confederations Cup in Brazil, joins Thomas Tuchel’s side on a three-year deal.

The 27-year-old joined Stuttgart from Shimizu S-Pulse in January 2011 and had one year left on his contract.

He had been eager for a move away from Stuttgart, having endured a frustrating 2012/2013 campaign with just one goal in 25 league appearances.

Tuchel believes Okazaki can be a key player for Mainz, which finished 13th in the table last season.

“We are very pleased that Shinji Okazaki has decided to switch to us,” Tuchel told the club’s official website.

“He is a player with skills that are very important to play our type of football. He is a complete team player, flexible, is always a goal threat and is strong going forward.”