Japan striker Muto opts for Mainz over Chelsea - report

Reuters , Tuesday 12 May 2015

Yoshinori Muto
Yoshinori Muto (L) of Japan fights for the ball with Mario Figueira of Brazil during their friendly soccer match at the national stadium in Singapore October 14, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)

Japan striker Yoshinori Muto will sign for German club Mainz after opting against joining Premier League champions Chelsea because of concerns over a lack of playing opportunities, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday.

The 22-year-old was also wary about qualifying for a work permit to play in England, Kyodo quoted an unnamed official at Muto's current club FC Tokyo as saying.

Muto scored 13 goals for Tokyo last season and only graduated from Keio University in March after completing an economics degree.

Mainz are currently 12th in the Bundesliga and have enjoyed success with Japanese strikers. Shinji Okazaki is their top scorer this term.

Chelsea, who announced their 'largest ever commercial deal' with Japanese tyre firm, Yokohama Rubber Company earlier this year had bid around 700 million yen ($5.84 million) for Muto in March, Kyodo said.

Muto, who has notched eight goals in 11 league games this term, is with the national team on a two-day training camp. He was expected to reveal his transfer plans on Thursday, Kyodo said.

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