The Rumario Mill

The Rumario Mill

By Mario Kawata (follow Mario on twitter @MarioUrawa)

A week is a long time in Football, and so it has proved again with plenty of action happening in Japan as clubs prepare for the 2013 J.League season.

With his ear to the ground as always is our very own Mario Kawata who brings us his weekly serving of The Rumario Mill.

Kashima win race for Davi

Atsutaka Nakamura has joined Kashima Antlers

Otoshidama is Japanese New Year tradition of giving money to children. Instead of giving money, Kashima Antlers made their fans happy by buying big gifts

On January 3rd, they announced the surprise signing of Brazilian striker Davi, who Tokyo Chunichi Sports reported last week to be moving to FC Tokyo.

Joining the Ibaraki side along with the J2’s top scorer is another J2 star Atsutaka Nakamura.

The 22-year-old midfielder scored 14 goals last year for Kyoto Sanga FC and has been attracting interest from a number of J1 clubs including Jubilo Iwata and Shimizu S-Pulse. Although striker Shinzo Koroki’s move to Urawa Reds has become official and Chikashi Masuda is leaving the club to join K League Classic club Ulsan Hyundai, the reformation of Kashima offence should be considered a success, especially if experienced midfielder Takuya Nozawa comes back from Vissel Kobe as rumored.


Shimizu announce surprise signing

The Otoshidama for Shimizu S-Pulse fans came before the New Year’s Eve as the club announced the signing of Brazilian striker Bare out of the blue. Bare first moved to Japan in 2001 and went on to score more than 140 goals for Omiya Ardija, Ventforet Kofu and Gamba Osaka. His double hat-trick for Kofu against Kashiwa Reysol in the 2005 J1/J2 playoff second leg is still vividly remembered by many Japanese football fans.

Considering the 30-year-old Brazilian kept his impressive goal record in the Middle East after he left Gamba in 2008, Shimizu’s search for a striker, which saw unsuccessful attempts to sign Davi and Sagan Tosu striker Yohei Toyoda earlier this winter, should be considered to have ended with one of the best possible outcomes.


Kawasaki to land Okubo

Kawasaki Frontale have been linked with a big name this week. According to Nikkan Sports, Vissel Kobe striker Yoshito Okubo is set for a move to Todoroki Stadium. Okubo was reportedly willing to stay at the relegated club, but Kobe decided to sell Okubo as well as Masahiko Inoha and Takuya Inoha, and the former Japanese international chose Kawasaki over offers from Europe, South Korea, Australia and the Middle East.

He is not going to be the only player to join Kawasaki from a relegated club as Gamba Osaka defender Sota Nakazawa is also close to complete the move.


Kashiwa and Urawa reinforce defense for ACL

Four days after winning the Emperor’s Cup, Kashiwa Reysol revealed the signing of defender Daisuke Suzuki from Albirex Niigata. The under-23 international defender who saved Niigata from relegation and played alongside with Maya Yoshida at the London Olympics will make his debut in AFC Champions League this year.

Meanwhile, Niigata have signed defender Hamada Mizuki (loan) and striker Tatsuya Tanaka from Urawa Reds, but might still need a few more players to compensate for losing two key defenders (Suzuki and Naoki Ishikawa who moved to Vegalta Sendai). Hamada’s loan gives no damage to Urawa as experienced defender Daisuke Nasu has joined from Kashiwa.


Other news

• Former Shimizu S-Pulse manager Kenta Hasegawa has been appointed as new Gamba Osaka manager;
• Cerezo Osaka and Kashiwa Reysol have been linked with Gamba Osaka midfielder Akihiro Ienaga;
• Kashima Antlers defender Toru Araiba has joined Cerezo Osaka;
• Vissel Kobe has signed Ulsan Hyundai midfielder Juan Estiven Vélez;
• Kashima Antlers announced the departure of midfielder Renato Caja;
• Urawa Reds have been linked with Adelaide United midfielder Dario Vidosic.


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