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Striker Utaka close to joining FC Tokyo: source

Kyodo

FC Tokyo is on the verge of signing former Nigeria international striker and last season’s J. League first-division joint-top scorer Peter Utaka, a source close to the move said Monday.

The 33-year-old Utaka, who bagged 19 goals for Sanfrecce Hiroshima in 2016 to share the Golden Boot with Vissel Kobe’s Brazilian forward Leandro, is set to undergo a medical and barring any problems could sign for the Gasmen in the coming days.

Utaka joined Hiroshima on loan from Shimizu S-Pulse last season. He scored nine goals in 28 league games with S-Pulse, who were relegated to J2 after the 2015 campaign.

His loan contract with Hiroshima finished in January but he had been unable to find a club willing to meet his high wage demands. Utaka has also played in the Denmark and China.

In a bid to win its maiden championship, Tokyo has bolstered its squad this term with a number of key signings, including all-time J1 leading scorer Yoshito Okubo.

Tokyo kicked off the 2017 league campaign with a 1-0 win away to reigning league champions Kashima Antlers on Saturday.