Soccer

Shinji Okazaki unsure of future with Leicester

Kyodo

Veteran Japan international Shinji Okazaki said Saturday he is unsure of his future with Leicester City following reports the club rejected a transfer bid from fellow Premier League side Huddersfield.

Okazaki, who was left out of the Samurai Blue’s Asian Cup squad, has reportedly been targeted by multiple Premier League clubs, including bottom-place Huddersfield, after having his playing time drastically cut by Leicester manager Claude Puel.

A premiership winner with the Foxes in 2016, Okazaki previously said he was willing to change clubs if it meant a better chance of making the Japan squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“It’s up to Leicester. Right now, I don’t know whether they need me or not. Of course, (playing for) a team that wants me would be ideal,” Okazaki said, after being left out of the squad for Leicester’s 2-1 loss to visiting Southampton on Saturday.

The 32-year-old, who joined Leicester from Germany’s Mainz in 2015, has not played the full 90 minutes in a single Premier League game this season.

“I can’t feel satisfied as a player. After three-and-a-half years, maybe it’s time to move on. I have no intention of quarreling with the team, but I will make my feelings known,” he said.

Britain’s Sky Sports reported Thursday that a number of clubs had expressed interest in Okazaki, a member of Japan’s past three World Cup squads.

Multiple outlets later reported Leicester had rejected a bid from Huddersfield, citing Daily Telegraph soccer reporter John Percy.

The Premier League’s January transfer window is open through the last day of the month.

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