United, Liverpool and even Chelsea are pretty massive in Asia due to their rich footballing history. Along with that United have been very clever in bringing in one of the biggest names in Japanese football Shinji Kagawa as well as having Park Ji Sung before that.
Rumours are now circulating that Manchester City have sent out some scouts to track down the latest hot young thing from the Asian market.
According to the report on tuttomercatoweb.com his name is Hideki Ishige and is only an 18 year attacking midfelder who plays for S-Pulse in the J-League Division 1. In the under 17 World Cup last year he managed to grab 3 goals and 2 assists for the Japanese under 17 squad and has played a regular role at club level this season playing 23 games and managing 4 assists and 1 goal.
At only 18 it is very hard to say whether he will develop into a star player and if City were to pluck the youngster from his set-up now I fear it would be too much too soon for him. Kagawa, a man of high quality, played many a year in the Japanese league before moving onto Dortmund and then made the transition to the Premier League. Obviously this player may turn out different but you have to give it time with young players to evolve.
As cynical as it is for me to say this all smells like a big marketing plan by the owners of Manchester City. They need all the money they can get to help balance the books for the financial fair play and they have obviously known for a while that the Asian market equals pound signs. This whole scenario just seems a bit too far fetched for me and I doubt anything will come of it.
Football can of course be a funny game and you never know what is around the corner, perhaps Mancini will go to Monaco like he nearly did last season, but I doubt that this young man will be pulling on the blue jersey of City anytime soon.
City are a big club now with very ambitious owners and will eventually become as worldwide as Manchester United, to do so they must of course win things. The one title that can help this happen to be the UEFA Champions League. Whether that will ever happen under Mancini is another tale for another time.
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