Cerezo Osaka are considering Tokyo Verdy boss Miguel Angel Lotina as one of their next manager candidates, Sports Hochi reported today.
More and more managers and players are coming from Spain to start new challenge in Japan these days. Needless to say, Andres Iniesta and Fernando Torres are the most notable ones, but it can be said Lotina is one of those who pioneered this trend along with Ricardo Rodriguez, both of them started coaching Japanese team in 2017.
There are five main sports newspapers in Japan - Sports Nippon, Nikkan Sports, Sports Hochi, Sankei Sports, and Daily Sports - and until now four of them have reported that current manager Yoon Jong-hwan is very likely to leave the team after his two-year contract with the club expires at the end of the season.
Next manager candidate? pic.twitter.com/oeW7Yv5MeY— CRZ Tweets (@crz_tweets) October 20, 2018
Sports newspapers haven’t talked much about who the club are considering as possible managers, but Hwang Sun-hong is one of a few names they have mentioned (He was even featured in DAZN’s The Legend interview last weekend! …but of course it has nothing to do with Cerezo’s managerial change). But the fact that Cerezo are considering Hwang as their future manager isn’t actually surprising, it is something we have known since some years ago, but what we aren’t quite sure is whether (and how serious) they are really considering him as their next manager candidate now.
Miguel Angel Lotina is the second name mentioned in news reports so far, as far as I know. His contract with Tokyo Verdy also seems to expire at the end of this season. Tokyo Verdy are currently in the fourth place of the J2 League, which means they have a good chance to be qualified for the promotion playoff, or they may even aim for the top two spots. If they successfully get promoted to the J1 League, a possibility of Cerezo signing Lotina will probably decrease.
Considering from Lotina’s side, this kind of rumor can benefit him and his agent who might already start negotiation about contract extension with his current club, while reading the Hochi report gives me an impression that their source came from Cerezo. Because there is uncertainty about Lotina’s future at Tokyo Verdy, the Hochi article concludes “Cerezo Osaka will continue their research taking every possibility into consideration.”