Football

Kagawa out to impress

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Shinji Kagawa (above) accepts that he needs to up his game after a poor showing at the World Cup.

Japan's Shinji Kagawa has vowed to prove his worth to new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal after a disappointing World Cup plunged his future into further doubt.

"I feel incredibly excited," Kagawa told reporters at Tokyo's Haneda airport yesterday before leaving for England.

"It's a new start and I feel re-energised. It's up to the players to get the results we need. I have a strong desire to do well."

Kagawa, an instant hit for United after being signed by Alex Ferguson from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in 2012, found himself largely frozen out last season under the troubled reign of David Moyes.

United's decision to sack Moyes in April, after just 10 months in charge, and the arrival of Dutch World Cup coach van Gaal have left Kagawa sweating over his fate.

"I'll look more closely at my game and accept the challenge filled with passion," said the 25-year-old, who gave three poor displays at the World Cup as Japan finished last in Group C.

Van Gaal is expected to decide whether to offer Kagawa, who has 
two years left on his contract, an extended deal.

United will play in the pre-season International Champions Cup in North America beginning on July 24. The tournament also features Liverpool, Manchester City, AS Roma, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Olympiakos. - AFP.