Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Midweek News Round-up

Time for another midweek Squirrels news update, with only a couple of days to go before Japan's long New Year holiday. Firstly there is a confused and confusing picture about the possibility of a move back to Omiya for one of the stars of the Ardija squad of 2007/08, Leandro. The story originally came out in the Brazilian press a couple of weeks before Christmas, with subsequent reports indicating that the big defender had decided to remain for the 2011 season at Fluminense, who have just won the league title. More recently, there seem to have been suggestions that his agent is trying to renegotiate the contract with Fluminense using as a bargaining tool the fact that Omiya have tabled a more substantial offer; however, the full details are far from clear.

And while we're on the subject of possible new signings there is little solid good news elsewhere, either. The ongoing saga of Omiya's apparent interest in former Urawa Reds star midfielder Robson Ponte has taken another twist, the player having been reported as saying that he's received offers from a number of J-League clubs and that, following Reds' elimination from the Emperor's Cup, he's going back to Brazil for a holiday to think about his next move. In contrast, another reported Squirrels transfer target, Hayato Sasaki, seems to have made up his mind to reject an Ardija offer and stay at Gamba Osaka - despite Omiya having by all accounts tabled a three-year deal on a higher salary then he currently receives with the Blue and Blacks.

So who is likely to be wearing on orange shirt next season? Well, veteran defender Arata Sugiyama has extended his deal and so will remain a Squirrel even though his first team opportunities under Jun Suzuki were severely limited. And that's all there is to say on that score, given that the only other announcement is that Kohei Tokita and Ryohei Arai will in 2011 be continuing their loan spells in J2 with Oita Trinita and FC Gifu respectively. Oh, and young midfield player Takuya Aoki was invited to train with the national team squad ahead of next month's Asian Cup (which was good), but then on the first day of the camp he was sent home for being either ill or unfit (which was bad). So all in all, it's all rather scarily quiet.



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