The team returned to Osaka after finishing the first training camp, but they have to leave Osaka soon for the second training camp in Miyazaki Prefecture early next month. They played the first training match against Bangkok Glass FC at the end of the Thailand camp, and although they didn’t perform particularly well, ending the game 0-0, manager Yoon Jong-Hwan said he was “relieved to see players work hard” after 10 days of hard training.
Cerezo Osaka U-23 also had a training camp in Miyazaki from January 23 to 30. They played three training matches (against Miyazaki Sangyo Keiei University, J.FC Miyazaki, and Hosho High School) and won all of them, although only some young players like Takeru Kishimoto participated in it and mainly U-18 players consisted of the squad.
Today is the transfer deadline day for European clubs. I was thinking it’s nothing to do with us until a few days ago, but suddenly surprising news came in. As readers of this blog should already know, some print and web media reported that Cerezo Osaka are chasing former star midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake, who is currently with Sevilla. Of course I knew that Kiyotake has been in difficult situation in Spain and may have to leave the club this winter, and that there are some rumors about the clubs after him, among them MLS side Seattle Sounders which reportedly made €6m offer to sign him, but never imagined Cerezo were also joining the race.
The day before yesterday, Goal Japan reported that Kiyotake wants to return to Japan “for personal reasons” (maybe it’s about his family but I don’t want to make a guess about it) and three J1 clubs including Cerezo are interested in acquiring him, and some of the clubs had already contacted and negotiated with the Spanish side. Soon after it, an article by Spanish journalist Rocio Guevara revealed Cerezo already made an offer for him which was rejected by Sevilla as insufficient, and they were willing to make second offer.
Cerezo’s first offer is said to be €4.5m and Sevilla wants at least €6m for his transfer fee, according to Estadio Deportivo. Cerezo GM Kiyoshi Okuma told the press today that the club haven’t made any offer for him (of course we can’t take his words as they are), while he admitted they are still keeping in touch with Kiyotake’s agent. He made clear that Cerezo can’t afford to pay €6m, which will be among the highest transfer fees paid by Japanese clubs if realized, and Sevilla don’t want him to leave on loan. What’s worse for Cerezo, Kiyotake receives more than ¥200m as an annual salary and it is also very expensive, so it’s very difficult for Cerezo to purchase him now.
On the other hand, Nikkan Sports reported that Kiyotake’s agent sent Japanese clubs a document detailing the terms of his transfer, and there are some options laid out there, including 2-year loan with buy-out clause, or deregistering him after reaching basic agreement between both sides and continuing negotiations until the end of March when the registration window for J.League clubs closes. If this is true, it is not impossible for Cerezo to seal an agreement.
It’s almost 3pm in Spain now and there are only 9 more hours left until the window closes. No one knows what happens until the last minute. Let’s see how it goes.