• Kyodo


Gamba Osaka confirmed Thursday that midfielder Ritsu Doan will complete a full transfer to Dutch first-division side Groningen in July, in a move revealed last month by the Eredivisie club.

An attacking midfielder who can also play on either wing, the 19-year-old Japan youth international joined Groningen on loan last July. Groningen in late April said it had made his stay permanent with a three-year deal.

Doan, reportedly a target of English glamor club Manchester City, has scored 10 goals in 31 league and cup appearances for Groningen this season.

In a statement on the Gamba website, Doan thanked the J. League club for enabling him to “successfully adapt to life overseas outside of just soccer.”

“Gamba nurtured me as a person, not just as a soccer player,” said Doan, who joined the J. League club as a 13-year-old junior.

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