Tokyo in talks to bring Lee home


FC Tokyo is in talks to acquire Japan striker Tadanari Lee from Premier League club Southampton, Takayuki Tateishi, head of team operations for the first division J. League club, said Wednesday.

“We want to decide on a striker by the end of camp (in mid-February). Lee is a candidate. He is a product of FC Tokyo’s youth organization, and it’s true that we are in talks,” said Tateishi.

The 27-year-old Lee, a fourth-generation resident of Korean descent who took Japanese citizenship in 2007, played for Kashiwa Reysol and Sanfrecce Hiroshima before joining Southampton in January last year.

He scored his first goal for Southampton in a 4-0 win over Derby County last February, but he has been out of action since March 2012 after damaging ligaments in his right foot.

Lee’s first international goal was a dramatic one, coming in the 109th minute of the final to secure a 1-0 win over Australia in Japan’s fourth Asian Cup success in 2011.