Just who’s the Japanese striker Chelsea are after?
J-League side FC Tokyo have said that Chelsea are keen on their striker Yoshinori Muto.
But who is Yoshinori Muto?
The 22-year-old is Japan’s latest rising star.
He scored 13 goals in his rookie year last term and was named in the J-League’s best eleven.
The new season started last month and Muto has impressed, notching three goals in his first four appearances to help Tokyo sit third.
He also represented Japan during their quarter-final exit at the Asian Cup in January and retained his place in the squad for new coach Vahid Halilhodzic’s first matches last month.
He has scored once for his country in 11 appearances.
No decision yet
Kyodo News reported the Japanese club as saying that the player, who graduated with an economics degree from Keio University two weeks ago, has “not made any decision yet” on a possible move.
Chelsea, who are in sight of their fifth English title with a seven-point lead and only eight games remaining, recently announced their “largest ever commercial deal’ with Japanese tyre firm, Yokohama Rubber Company.
Japanese players have struggled to make an impact in Europe in recent years, with Muto’s international teammate Shinji Kagawa rejoining Borussia Dortmund after a difficult spell with Manchester United.
Maya Yoshida has found it hard to hold on to first-team role at Southampton, while Tadanari Lee, who scored a spectacular goal to win the 2011 Asian Cup, left the south-coast club last year after failing to impress in England.
Judge for yourself if Muto can cut it at the Blues.