Manchester United agree deal for Japanese midfielder Kagawa



By Alex Byrom
Deputy Football Editor

Midfielder Kagawa (pictured above) has risen to prominence in his two seasons at German champions Borussia Dortmund


Premier League side Manchester United have begun their rebuilding for next season with the capture of young Japanese star Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund as their first summer signing. 

The 23 year old now only needs to pass a medical and obtain a UK work-permit, hurdles United say will be finalised by the end of June- so he can be shown off to the media. 

The deal is set to be worth about £12 million, possibly rising to £17 million based on appearences and other accolades. 

"Shinji is an exciting young talent with great skill, vision and an eye for goal. I am delighted he has decided to join us," said Sir Alex Ferguson.

"I believe he will make an an impact on the team very quickly as he is suited to our style of play. We are looking forward to him," the United boss added.

On his transfer - Kagawa said: "This is a challenge I am really looking forward to. The Premier League is the bigggest in thw world and United is such a massive club. I cannot wait to get started.

Sir Alex Ferguson has long been an admirer of the young star - who cost Dortmund just $500,000 when he joined in 2010. Since then, he has been an integral part of the Dortmund side as they clinched their first title since 1997 - in 2011 - and then won the double this season (2011-12). Fergie was in the stands watching closely as Kagawa scored once and made 2 others in Borussia Dortmund's 5-2 thrashing of Bayern Munich in the German Cup Final last month.

He can play wide, or in a more central role, which is where surely Fergie will deploy him with the likes of Nani, Valencia and Young all operating in wide areas. The United manager, who will begin his 25th season in August, has acted hastily following the disappointment of Eden Hazard opting to join Chelsea.

The Japanese star - currently on holiday after helping his countrymen in the recent World Cup qualifiers -  becomes United's first Japanese player, certainly boosting trade in the Far East as their fanbase now topples 625 million, with over half of that coming in Asia. United also have former South Korea captain Ji-Sung Park but his future is clouded.

Kagawa represented his country at both the 2008 Olympics and last year's ASIA Cup but wasn't a part of their 2010 World Cup squad. He scored 10 goals in 24 games in his first season in Europe, depite the fact that he missed 3 and a half months of the season with a broken metatarsal. Last season he scored 21 goals in 48 games, whilst assisting 18 goals.

United just missed out on the Premier League title on the final day of the season, and Fergie will want more reinforcements to aid him: Luka Modric is apparently still a top priority.  


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