Japan boss Halilhodzic urges playing time in Europe for Muto

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striker must find first team opportunities wherever he lands in Europe,  coach insisted on Monday.

The Samurai Blue tactician spoke to reporters one day before the start of a two-day training camp for national team candidates in eastern Chiba Prefecture.

“I don’t know the specifics of the offer Chelsea made to Muto, but they have their method of buying and renting lots of young players,” Halilhodzic told reporters.

“Looking at Muto’s situation, if he wants to improve he has to find a club he can play for regularly in Europe. I’ll discuss my ideas with him but in the end it’s his decision, not mine.”

The 22-year-old gave little indication of his intentions following Tokyo’s 1-0 loss to Kashima Antlers on Sunday.

“I’m in no rush to make a decision,” Muto told Nikkan following the match, which concluded a busy period of seven games in 23 days. “Nothing needs to be decided in the next week, and I want to focus on staying healthy for our next match [against league leaders Urawa Reds].”

Tokyo general manager Takayuki Tateishi acknowledged interest from several clubs.

“The only formal offer has come from Chelsea, but several teams have made enquiries,” Tateishi told Hochi. “We’re going to discuss the situation with Muto after May 14 once he returns from the national team camp.”