Soccer / J. League

Antlers make offer to defender Atsuto Uchida

Kyodo

Kashima Antlers have offered Atsuto Uchida a contract in the hope of bringing the Japan defender back to the club where he started his professional career, a club official said Tuesday.

Should Uchida accept the offer he will return to Kashima 7½ years after he left, though he still has six months left on his contract with Union Berlin in the German second division.

The 29-year-old has played in only two of 18 league games during the current Bundesliga season due to a hamstring injury and hinted at a potential winter break move, saying “it’s not like I’m not thinking about it.”

Uchida started his career with the Kashima Antlers in 2006 and helped the club win three straight league championships in 2007-2009. He was named to the J. League’s Best XI twice, in 2008 and 2009.