Bundesliga club Hanover on Wednesday announced the signing of Japanese defender Hiroki Sakai from Kashiwa Reysol on a three-year deal.
Hanover coach Mirko Slomka will, however, have to do without the 22-year-old for the forseeable future as Sakai is involved in Japan's 2012 Olympic campaign.
Sakai recently helped Kashiwa Reysol win the Japanese league title and scored the only goal for his side in a 3-1 defeat to FC Santos in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup.
Hanover finished seventh in Germany's Bundesliga, meaning they will have to play qualifiers in the Europa League before being guaranteed a European campaign.
(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports)