According to The Sun, 23-year-old Shinji Kagawa has refused to sign a new deal with his club Borussia Dortmund. They also claim that Manchester United may be ready to make a move for the Japanese International who has set the Bundesliga alight over the last couple of seasons.
His contract is up next summer and Dortmund have been desperate to get him to agree new terms. Whilst they’ve persuaded Mario Goetze to stay on board, it looks like they’re fighting a losing battle in this case. The Sun quotes Dortmund’s director of sport Michael Zorc: “I spoke to Shinji and his advisor last week and to date he is not willing to extend his contract.
“We have a Plan A and B and we will follow one of them. We won’t gamble, but he has a specific career plan and he plans to play in England. We have to accept that, even if we don’t find it good.”
In truth, Dortmund are in a pretty difficult situation. With his contract up in summer 2013, they can either sell him now and earn a fair sum for him or keep him for another year and risk losing him on a free. Zorc’s recent comments seem to suggest that he’s ready to sell: “Because he now has a certain market value, there is an economic rationality which has to be followed.”
What’s more the comments about him desiring a move to England suggest that the tabloids who keep linking him to Manchester United may not be that far off the mark. Soccer Sweep have even gone as far as to label Kagawa an ‘underwhelming signing’. But is this a fair comment?
First let’s take a look at his goal record. He’s scored an impressive 21 goals in 58 appearances for Dortmund. He’s scored 9 goals in 28 games for Japan. I’m sure there are plenty of strikers out there who would love to register those figures. But Kagawa is an attacking minded midfielder. He’s pretty similar to Frank Lampard. He can start attacks, pass the ball about and he’s got a real engine on him. His real asset though, is that he can provide important goals.
Many fans are no doubt disappointed that Sir Alex Ferguson is chasing Kagawa instead of Goetze. But compare the two players. Goetze is 19-years-old, has bags of potential but has spent the majority of this season out injured. He would cost around £30m. On the other hand Kagawa is 23-years-old, is about to enter his prime and has featured regularly in this season’s Bundesliga quickly establishing himself as one of the best players in the League. He would cost significantly less than Goetze. So why exactly should Sir Alex go for the young German over the young Japanese International?
Whether or not you think he’s an underwhelming signing (I happen to feel that he’d make for a pretty exciting acquisition) you can’t help but feel that he’s got the qualities that Manchester United seek.
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