Okada preparing Kirin Cup squad

Kyodo News

Japan coach Takeshi Okada said Friday he plans to call up Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura and other European-based players for the upcoming Kirin Cup home friendlies and next month’s World Cup qualifiers.

Makoto Hasebe of German Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg and fellow midfielder Daisuke Matsui, who plays for French side Le Mans, are among other players being considered for the matches.

Japan Football Association officials said Junichi Inamoto of Eintracht Frankfurt and Koji Nakata, who has agreed to rejoin J. League’s Kashima Antlers from Swiss club FC Basel, also have chances of making the Japan squad depending on their match fitness. Okada’s side will play Ivory Coast on May 24 and Paraguay three days later in the Kirin Cup.