Japanese rising star Yoshinori Muto is almost certain to decline a transfer offer from Chelsea, Sponichi reported on Saturday.
The FC Tokyo striker made headlines last month when his name was attached to a Stamford Bridge move. But a reported mid-April deadline passed without a response from the 22-year-old, who was reportedly hesitant over a possible lack of playing opportunity under manager Jose Mourinho.
Muto’s decision opens the path for offers from other clubs, with Bundesliga outfit Mainz considered the strongest candidate. The club have decided to look to Japan for their next big talent after observing the success of their own Samurai Blue striker, Shinji Okazaki.
According to Sponichi, Mainz management are expected to arrive in Japan next week to negotiate directly with Muto, who scored the winning goal on Saturday in FC Tokyo’s 2-1 win over Kawasaki Frontale.
Thomas Kroth, the agent responsible for bringing Japanese stars such as Okazaki, Shinji Kagawa, Atsuto Uchida, and others to the Bundesliga, was in attendance at the sold-out Ajinomoto Stadium affair.