As previously rumoured, the Sponichi news site is reporting that, while other clubs are also interested, J1 newcomers Tokyo Verdy have put in a formal bid for Squirrels defender Yasuhiro Hato. The 31-year-old former Japanese international joined Omiya two years ago from Kashiwa Reysol but has enjoyed mixed success in Saitama.
Meanwhile more press attention is being given to Ardija's offer to buy national team striker Seiichiro Maki from JEF United, originally covered by the Yomiuri Shimbun on 26 December. The same paper provides more background to the reported 300m yen deal to boost Ardija's attacking fortunes with what would be a gigantic cash injection from sponsors NTT. Nikkan Sports ties the story in with JEF's own hunt for a new coach following the sacking of Amar Osim.
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Sponichi also connects Omiya with 27-year-old attacking midfield man Masaki Fukai, who spent last season on loan at Albirex Niigata from Kashima Antlers. The diminutive-but-speedy Fukai was used by the Swans mainly as a reserve for their regular front pairing of Edmilson and Kisho Yano and has career stats of fifteen goals in 115 matches since his debut for Kashima in 2003.