Soccer

Muto set to make move to Newcastle

Kyodo, Reuters, AP

Newcastle United has struck a deal on Japan international striker Yoshinori Muto’s transfer from Mainz, the English Premier League club announced Friday.

The move is subject to Muto receiving a work permit to play in England, the club said. The transfer fee is reported to be £9.5 million (about $12.5 million).

“An agreement has been formalized between the Magpies and Muto’s current club, FSV Mainz 05, and the player has undergone a medical and agreed (to) personal terms,” the club said in a statement.

The English F.A. is due to hear the case next week to decide if Muto, who has not recently been a regular starter for Japan, should be granted permission to join the Magpies.

“The transfer is now subject to the player being issued with a Governing Body Endorsement, which will be determined at a hearing to take place later next week,” Newcastle said.

The 26-year-old Muto, who played for Japan at this summer’s World Cup, scored a personal-high eight goals in 27 matches in his third season with the German club.

Muto began his career at FC Tokyo, where he played 51 league games and scored 23 goals before joining Bundesliga side Mainz in 2015. He has scored 20 goals in 66 games for Mainz.

Having made just one appearance at the World Cup in Russia where Japan lost to Belgium in the round of 16, Muto said he hopes to be a key player at the tournament in 2022.

Newcastle finished 10th in the Premier League last season.

The club has been busy this week, having also signed Switzerland defender Fabian Schar on a three-year deal on Thursday.

“This is a really big club for me, it has a big name and it is a brilliant chance for me,” the 26-year-old Schar said.