Germany’s Mainz have reached a deal with FC Tokyo striker Yoshinori Muto, Kicker reported on Thursday morning.
According to the paper, the Bundesliga outfit will bring the 22-year-old to Coface Arena on a four-year contract through 2019.
Tokyo will receive a reported €3 million transfer fee for Muto, who is among the J1 League’s top scorers with eight goals this campaign. The figure appears high enough to overcome team officials’ reluctance to part with the recent Keio University graduate, as he accounts for half of the capital side’s 15 goals this season.
General manager Christian Heidel has not been coy in revealing his intentions to sign the Japanese star, who could join fellow Samurai Blue forward Shinji Okazaki on the Mainz front line. The club intensified in their efforts to bring Muto to Germany after the player reportedly turned down an offer from Premier League champions Chelsea, dispatching scouts to Japan.
Former West Germany international Pierre Littbarski, who spent five years as a player in Japan before enjoying three stints managing Yokohama FC and Avispa Fukuoka, praised Muto: “His weapons are his dribbling and speed. Tactically and physically he has room to improve, but he’d be a good match for Mainz.”
Muto scored two goals for the club in their 2-1 win on Wednesday night against Ventforet Kofu in the Yamazaki Nabisco Cup group stage.