The reshaping of Liverpool appears to be continuing a pace. Bankrolled by new owners Kenny Dalglish and Damien Comolli are identifying their targets for the upcoming Summer assault on the transfer market.
Today’s reports link the Merseyside club with the wonderfully named Keisuke Honda who is currently plying his trade in Russia, interest in the player is thought to be intense with clubs in Italy, England and Spain monitoring the progress of the midfielder.
Honda began his career in his native Japan where he played for Grampus Eight signing for the side at 19 years of age. After 3 impressive seasons in the J league playing for the team once made famous for signing an ageing Gary Lineker he moved to Europe signing for Eredivisie side VVV-Venlo, he adapted to European football well and was a star performer for the Dutch side. He stayed in Holland for 3 seasons and scored 26 goals in 74 games, pretty impressive for a midfielder.
His form did not go unnoticed and Russian team CSKA Moscow signed the player for £5million in time for the 2010 season. He has continued to improve and came to the eyes of an even bigger audience playing for Japan during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and there were numerous rumours last Summer about the player moving on to bigger things.
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The player has recently told Russian journalists:
“My time in Russian football is now complete. Now I aspire to play in a more competitive European League.”
The players ambition is obvious and not at all surprising, he is skillful and can play ideally as a central playmaker but also in a more advanced position off a striker if it is required. He is a good passer, works hard and would be a good asset to any team should he be given time to adapt to a new league and country.
It is thought that Liverpool are ready to offer around £13million for the player but they may have an uphill struggle to convince the midfielder that it is the right move for him. The players agent has said that he would ideally prefer a move to Spain:
“The most realistic option at the moment is for Honda to continue his career with CSKA, unless of course they will let him go…. Atletico Madrid, he wants to try to force his game into the Spanish style and this club would support that option,”.
It has been suggested that Atletico Madrid have been ready to move for the player for several months so that seems the most likely destination for the Japanese maestro. Interest also comes from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund who hope that international team mate Shinji Kagawa will help persuade him to join them. Either way it is apparent that interest in the player is high, Liverpool is probably the highest profile of the clubs and he could help them battle their way back towards the top part of the Premier League.
Dalglish might have his work cut out for him on this one, but if they can pull it off I think he would be an extremely useful addition to the Liverpool squad.
For more thoughts and rumours, follow me on twitter @soccercityjoe!
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