Soccer

Sevilla makes offer for Hannover's Kiyotake: report

Kyodo

Japan midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake is on the verge of a move to Spanish side Sevilla from relegated Bunsdesliga side Hannover, German sports magazine Kicker reported Thursday.

Sevilla will pay Hannover €6.5 million (about ¥793 million) for Kiyotake and hand the 26-year-old a four-year contract through the summer of 2020, said the report, which quoted managing director Martin Bader as saying the deal “is already being formalized.”

Kiyotake, an Oita Trinita product, moved from Cerezo Osaka to Nuremberg in the summer of 2012 but the team suffered relegation in his second season. A similar story followed atHannover, which was relegated in his second season this past campaign in which he scored five and assisted six in 21 games.

The playmaker, who has twice broken bones in his right foot over the past 12 months, was in fine form with Japan in the recent Kirin Cup. He started in both games and scored the opener in the final against Bosnia-Herzegovina before Vahid Halilhodzic’s team lost 2-1 on Tuesday.

Sevilla won its third straight Europa League last month and will compete in the Champions League next season despite finishing seventh in La Liga.

Kiyotake’s international teammate Takashi Usami could also be on the move this summer after Gamba Osaka confirmed they have received a formal offer from Augsburg.

Usami, 24, has experience in the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich from 2011 and Hoffenheim the following season. He returned to Gamba in 2013, then in Japan’s second tier, but helped the team win promotion to the top flight and claim a domestic treble in 2014.

“We’ll respect his intention as long as all the conditions are met,” a Gamba senior figure said.

Gamba manager Kenta Hasegawa added, “I hope he does well (in Europe) if he does move.”

Augsburg, which ended its past campaign 12th, previously had current Bursaspor midfielder Hajime Hosogai