Yakult Swallows club president Yoshikazu Tagiku said Tuesday he has already offered the manager’s job for next season to veteran catcher Atsuya Furuta.

Furuta, whose two-year contract expires this year, has expressed his desire to continue his playing career in baseball, leaving open the possibility the team could negotiate a deal for him to act as a player-manager.

Tagiku said Furuta, who would replace Tsutomu Wakamatsu at the helm, would take on the skipper’s post as a way of increasing Yakult’s fan base and is not focused on the terms of the deal. “We have to see how much we are able to put Furuta’s thinking into effect,” Tagiku said.

Furuta, 40, has had little to say about the negotiations. “I don’t know which way this thing will fall,” Furuta said. “I have things I want to say (to the club), but I haven’t said anything (yet).”

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