• Kyodo

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Japan Football Association technical director Masahiro Shimoda said on Friday that there is a possibility that Swiss club Young Boys could release Japan Under-23 striker Yuya Kubo for the Rio Olympics after all.

Shimoda flew to Switzerland to hold talks with Young Boys after the club on Wednesday announced that it was pulling Kubo from the Olympic squad, saying he would be needed after striker Alexander Gerndt suffered a left knee injury.

“(The negotiations) have revived a little the possibility of Kubo playing at the Olympics,” Shimoda told reporters here before Japan play host Brazil in its final Olympic warm-up on Saturday.

Shimoda said talks would resume by telephone with Young Boys on Sunday.

This Swiss club has promised to have a rethink on the possibility of releasing Kubo once it has taken into account injuries and checked the condition of the team after Saturday’s game against Lugano.

Japan coach Makoto Teguramori has not given up on having Kubo with the team.

“I agonized about my whittling down my selection for this squad and my feeling is that I want to wait for Yuya,” said Teguramori.

Gerndt suffered the injury in the team’s Champions League 2-0 defeat in a first-leg qualifier against FC Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday, prompting Young Boys to announce that they were not going to allow Kubo to go to Brazil.

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