OSAKA — German first-division side SV Hamburg reached a deal with J. League champion Jubilo Iwata on Saturday for the transfer of Japan striker Naohiro Takahara.
After Takahara impressed in a trial with the Bundesliga club earlier this month, Hamburg officials came to Japan to work out details for the move and reached an agreement with Iwata after lengthy talks in an Osaka hotel.
“Both sides have reached an agreement and Takahara will play in Germany,” said Hamburg technical director Dietmar Beiersdorf.
Takahara, who will become the eighth Japan international to move to a European club, is due to sign a contract after playing in the Emperor’s Cup on Sunday.
Takahara missed the World Cup earlier this year with a blood clot in his lung but bounced back to top form in the J. League and secured both the league’s player of the year and top goalscorer awards.
“I am happy that my transfer was finalized. But I have been wanting to play in either Germany, the Netherlands or France,” he told reporters.
“I plan to join the team when it resumes practice on Jan. 4.”
The 23-year-old had an unhappy spell on loan at Argentine club Boca Juniors last year and returned home seven months into a yearlong deal.
News reports said the deal included an estimated 250 million yen ($2.1 million) transfer fee with Takahara receiving an estimated 60 million yen ($498,000 dollars) a year.
Takahara scored 26 goals this season to become the youngest-ever league top scorer.
Verdy adds Brazilian
Tokyo Verdy has signed Brazilian midfielder Ramon Hubner Menezes on a loan deal for next season, the first-division club said Saturday.
The 30-year-old, who scored 15 goals for Vasco da Gama in this season’s Brazilian championships, will join the J. League club on an 11-month loan deal from February.
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