• Kyodo


Japan striker Naohiro Takahara on Saturday departed for Germany where he will spend five days training with Bundesliga side Hamburg SV.

Takahara, who is reportedly eyeing a move to Germany, did not talk to reporters at Narita Airport before boarding his flight but a spokesman traveling to Hamburg with the 23-year-old insisted that the training sessions would not act as a trial.

“This is not a test (for Takahara). Hamburg SV simply said (in a letter) that they just wanted him to take a look at the club and get a feel for the place. It was Takahara who decided that he wanted to train with them,” the spokesman said.

Takahara missed this summer’s World Cup through illness but put the nightmare behind him to help Jubilo Iwata to a historic two-stage double in the J. League.

After netting 26 times this season to become the youngest-ever J. League leading scorer, Takahara has reportedly attracted the attention of a number of European clubs.

Takahara is also scheduled to watch Sunday’s Bundesliga match between Hamburg SV and Bochum. He will return to Japan for Jubilo’s Emperor’s Cup clash Dec. 15.

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