Gamba Osaka have made an offer of more than ¥400m for Yoichiro Kakitani, Sports Nippon and Sports Hochi reported this morning.
Gamba Osaka have performed badly under former Cerezo Osaka manager Levir Culpi, being very close to the automatic relegation zone (16th).
Talks between both sides are already ongoing and Sports Hochi thinks the probability of it coming true is high. According to multiple sources, Gamba’s suggested transfer fee is more than ¥400m, which is “exceptional” for domestic transfer, Sports Nippon revealed.
What two newspapers wrote the same article at exactly the same timing means may be that, rather than Kakitani’s transfer is imminent, someone involved with this deal leaked to both newspapers with some intent. Both reported with phrases like “unprecedented” or “big incident” in the headline or content but this is not the first time we see the same kind of rumor.
However, if there is a reason that makes this rumor look more real, it has something to do with his status within the squad. Although he has played in 12 games and scored 4 goals this season so far, Kakitani reportedly has been dissatisfied with manager Yoon Jong-Hwan who doesn’t let him play through 90 minutes. According to Sports Nippon, he held talks with the club on his future this month.
Another factor both newspapers mention is that Levir Culpi is taking charge of Gamba Osaka. Culpi firstly let go Kakitani who then behaved badly but after both came back to the club and reunited in 2012, Kakitani established his place and flourished. In 2013, he became successful by scoring 21 goals in 34 league games and moved to FC Basel next year. However, given the current situation, it may be risky for him to go to the other side of Osaka to reunite with Culpi once again because it is uncertain how long Culpi can stay there.