The Yomiuri Shimbun and Sponichi newspaper websites are both reporting that Montedio Yamagata coach Yasuhiro Higuchi is being lined up to replace Satoru Sakuma in the hot seat at Omiya Ardija. The Squirrels are described as having previously been in discussions with ex-Yokohama FC boss Takuya Takagi and Hiroshi Soejima, formerly in charge at Cerezo Osaka among others.
But the club's attentions have now turned to Higuchi, 46, who took over at Yamagata prior to the 2006 campaign following the departure to Albirex Niigata of Jun Suzuki. He has subsequently led the Mountain Gods to eighth and ninth place finishes in J2.
Higuchi's previous coaching experience was on the youth and then first team staff at Yokohama Marinos and Yokohama F Marinos. As such, he is thought to have been closely involved in the early development of international star midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura, going on to become the right-hand man to Takeshi Okada in the successful Marinos teams of 2003 and 2004.