The Rumario Mill

The Rumario Mill

By Mario Kawata (follow Mario on twitter @MarioUrawa)

As the festive season comes and goes, the news and rumours from the Land of the Rising Sun don’t stop and neither does our hard-working correspondent Mario who once again brings us The Rumario Mill.

FC Tokyo win race for Davi

J2’s top scorer seems to be headed to the capital of Japan. After being linked with Urawa Reds and Kashima Antlers in the last two months, Brazilian striker Davi is reportedly close to joining FC Tokyo.

The expensive transfer fee Umm-Salal demand has been a problem for Japanese clubs, including Ventforet Kofu where Davi spent the 2012 season, but according to Chunichi Sports FC Tokyo managed to reach an agreement with the Qatari side.

The 28-year-old Brazilian is expected be a great answer to the lack of reliable striker FC Tokyo suffered this season.


Olympic star Higashi replaces Kajiyama

Keigo Higashi at the London Olympics

The likely signing of Davi is not the only good news for FC Tokyo fans this week. The club has officially announced that Omiya Ardija midfielder Keigo Higashi joins the team to replace Yohei Kajiyama, who flew to Greece to sign a loan deal with Panathinaikos.

He played all six games for Japan at the London Olympics this summer wearing number 10, while Kajiyama was the number 10 for Japan at the Beijing Olympics four years ago. Higashi was also linked with Kashiwa Reysol and Kashima Antlers, but he chose to work under Ranko Popovic who was his boss at Oita Trinita in 2009.


Urawa set to seal another signing

Following Kashima Antlers’ exit from Emperor’s Cup with a 0-1 defeat to J2-bound Gamba Osaka, reports are out that striker Shinzo Koroki’s free transfer to Urawa Reds will be announced soon.

The former Japanese international has scored 49 J1 goals in eight years for Kashima, including 11 goals this season, and his agility and finishing skill are what Urawa have been looking for. Meanwhile, former Omiya striker Rafael is likely to be wearing Kashima’s deep red next year now that Davi is moving to Tokyo.


Sendai sign Ishikawa and Heberty

J1 runners-up Vegalta Sendai’s preparation for the 2013 campaign took a big step forward as they announced the signing of Albirex Niigata defender Naoki Ishikawa and Thespa Kusatsu midfielder Heberty.

Ishikawa is able to play at left and center back and contributed to J1’s second best defence this season, playing almost all games for Niigata. For 24-year-old Brazilian Heberty, the move to Sendai means a very fast promotion. Joining J2 side Thespa Kusatsu less than a year ago, he made his J1 debut in August at Cerezo Osaka where he spent a short loan spell to help them avoid relegation. Next year he will challenge Japanese and Asian titles with the likes of Ryang Yong-Gi and Shingo Akamine, who renewed their contracts this week.


Kobe getting ready for instant comeback

Vissel Kobe are ready to spend some money for instant comeback to the Japanese top flight.

South Korean and Japanese media reported that Asian Champions Ulsan Hyndai’s Colombian midfielder Estiven is set to join the newly relegated J2 side. Estiven’s contract expired at the end of the season and the negotiations with Kobe seem to be going well thanks to a reported annual salary of US$1 million.

On Thursday, Kobe announced the return of Brazilian striker Popo after one year at Urawa and has been also linked with former Niigata, Urawa and FC Tokyo striker Edmilson.


News Round-Up

• Shanghai Shenhua and Shimizu S-Pulse target Yohei Toyoda renewed his Sagan Tosu contract;
• Kawasaki Frontale midfielder Koji Yamase has joined Kyoto Sanga FC;
• Kashiwa Reysol have made an offer for Kashima Antlers midfielder Chikashi Masuda;
• Brazilian side Botafogo have made an offer for Nagoya Grampus defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka;
• Nagoya Grampus has been linked with Albirex Niigata striker Kisho Yano;
• Jubilo Iwata striker Han Sang-Woon has moved to Ulsan Hyundai.

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