Soccer

Getafe looking to sign Cerezo Osaka striker Kenyu Sugimoto

Kyodo

Spanish first division side Getafe is moving to acquire Cerezo Osaka striker Kenyu Sugimoto, a source close to the matter said Saturday.

The 25-year-old Sugimoto may make his move during the offseason to the Spanish side, where fellow Japanese Gaku Shibasaki plays.

“We’re trying to persuade (Sugimoto) to stay, but we’ll respect his wishes as long as the requirements are met,” said a Cerezo Osaka official.

Sugimoto scored 22 goals — the second most in the J. League first division this season — while appearing in all of Cerezo’s league matches.

Cerezo finished third in the 18-team standings, after being promoted to the top flight for this season.

Sugimoto was called to the national team for Japan’s World Cup final-round qualifier in August. He scored his first goal for Vahid Halilhodzic’s side when it drew 3-3 against Haiti in a friendly in October.

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