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Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu on Tuesday said Takuma Asano is “not someone who betrays people or his team” after the forward terminated his contract with Serbian club Partizan over alleged unpaid salary.

Moriyasu managed the 26-year-old when they were together at Sanfrecce Hiroshima, and was concerned by the situation with Partizan insisting on a contract breach after the player left before the end of the season.

“I’d like to wait and see, but he’s not someone who betrays people or his team. I hope the issue is resolved quickly,” Moriyasu said during an online interview.

Asano joined Arsenal from Sanfrecce in 2016 but never played for them, spending three seasons in Germany on loan with Stuttgart and Hannover before joining Partizan permanently in 2019.

Asano had scored 18 goals for Partizan this term, but on Sunday he wrote that he has terminated his contract in his blog post after the club “continuously failed to pay my salary and expenses on time” with a significant amount outstanding.

Moriyasu said Asano is in contention to be called up for the national team, which awaits a second-round Asian qualifier for the 2022 World Cup against Myanmar on May 28. Moriyasu also said he hopes to help Asano get a training environment in case he cannot find one.

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