Report: Honda seals Milan deal

AFP-JIJI

Japan international Keisuke Honda has signed a formal deal to join AC Milan when his contract with Russian champions CSKA Moscow expires on Dec. 31, a report said Thursday.

Documents related to his free transfer to the European giants have been submitted to Italian soccer authorities, the Sports Nippon daily said.

Milan vice president and chief executive Adriano Galliani recently told associates that the Serie A club had “formally contracted with Honda and had already submitted documents,” the Japanese daily said, quoting well-informed sources.

When CSKA issues a transfer certificate for Honda, he will automatically be registered as a Milan player, the sources told Sports Nippon.

Milan failed to sign the 27-year-old attacker — who helped Japan reach the last 16 at the 2010 World Cup — during the summer transfer window. The Russian side had reportedly demanded a ¥5 million ($6.7 million) transfer fee.

After nearly four years with the reigning Russian champions, Honda has been eyeing Europe’s top clubs as he looks ahead to next year’s World Cup in Brazil. He has in the past been linked with several English Premier League clubs.

After the summer deal broke down, Honda told media he had a “number of options” when his time in Moscow ends.

It was reported last week that Tottenham was set to sign Honda in January.

Juventus, Monaco and Liverpool are among other clubs that reportedly showed interest in acquiring Honda.