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Striker Okubo to join FC Tokyo: source

Kyodo

Kawasaki Frontale striker Yoshito Okubo, the all-time leading scorer in the J. League first division with 171 goals, will join FC Tokyo next season, a source close to the move said Friday.

Okubo’s contract with Frontale expires this year and several clubs had made moves to sign the 34-year-old.

Fukuoka-born Okubo, who had spells in Spain and Germany with Mallorca and Wolfsburg, joined Kawasaki in 2013 from Vissel Kobe and in 2015 became the first player to top the J1 scoring charts three seasons in a row.

This season he was the joint-top Japanese scorer with Frontale teammate Yu Kobayashi with 15 goals. Kobe’s Brazilian striker Leandro and Nigerian forward Peter Utaka of Sanfrecce Hiroshima topped the J1 scoring charts with 19 goals each.

Also on Friday, Tokyo announced that manager Yoshiyuki Shinoda will remain in charge of the team for next season.

Shinoda was promoted from his coaching role to manager in July following the firing of Hiroshi Jofuku. Tokyo won its last four games of the season and finished ninth in the overall standings.