Sanfrecce Hiroshima parts way with Douglas

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Brazilian forward , who scored 21 goals in 2015 season, will leave J-League champion .

The club announced the move, along with the acquisition of Nigerian striker Utaka, on Tuesday.

Douglas had been on loan with Hiroshima from J2 side Tokushima Vortis. According to a club source, Sanfrecce had hoped to extend his loan period or acquire the marksman on a full transfer, but were unable to meet Vortis’ terms.

It appears likely that Douglas, who played more than 4 seasons for Tokushima and had a short loan spell with Kyoto Sanga in 2014, will play this year for a club in the United Arab Emirates.

The 28-year-old striker contributed to Sanfrecce’s third-place finish in last month’s Club World Cup, but the team source said losing such a valuable player was business as usual for the three-time J. League champions.

“It’s almost an annual thing, losing players,” the source said. “New players come in and then we need to develop a new style.”

The 31-year-old Utaka, a former Nigeria international who scored nine goals in 28 games last season for Shimizu S-Pulse, will be on loan with Hiroshima through January 2017.

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