• Kyodo


Dutch club Feyenoord and Urawa Reds have reached an agreement that would transfer Japan midfielder Shinji Ono back to the J. League side, the Dutch top-division club said Thursday.

Feyenoord made the announcement on its official Web site and Urawa acknowledged the agreement between the clubs, which would see Ono play in the J. League for the first time since 2001.

“Feyenoord confirm that they have accepted a bid by Urawa Red Diamonds for Shinji Ono,” the Web site said. “The Japanese club would like to add the midfielder to their playing staff on Jan. 1 2006. Urawa Reds and the 26-year-old Ono are now set to discuss terms.”

Ono declined to comment on the news while his management office said his top priority remains playing in Europe.

Urawa plan to send a club official to the Netherlands shortly to negotiate with Ono in an attempt to regain his services.

“We believe we are the only club he would choose to play for in Japan and we welcome him back considering his talent and popularity,” an Urawa official said.

Ono joined Urawa from Shimizu Shogyo high school in 1998 and played in the World Cup finals in France that year as an 18-year-old.

He moved to Feyenoord in the summer of 2001 and made his second World Cup appearance in the 2002 tournament co-hosted by Japan and South Korea. But his career has been plagued by a series of injuries in recent years, most recently a stress fracture in his foot in June and a toe injury in October.

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