Leeds United have opened negotiations with Japanese side Gamba Osaka over signing Yosuke Ideguchi, according to a report. The Championship promotion hopefuls have been striving to improve their links with Asia and could acquire their first ever signing from the Land of the Rising Sun. Ideguchi is now plying his trade in the J-League with Gamba Osaka, but is braced for a switch to Europe.
Leeds have spotted the 21-year-old as part of their recently expanded scouting model set up around Asia, and it looks to already have taken effect, with the Championship outfit keen on taking the Gamba Osaka midfielder to Yorkshire.
Director of football Victor Orta teased fans last week when he revealed that Leeds were trying to sign a player from Asia after he has already brought in a large number of foreign talent during the summer window. The club has improved their ties with Asia with ex-Japan worldwide Toshiya Fujita enlisted as the club's head of football development in the area, while owner Andrea Radrizzani visited Japan last month.
He may well be on his way to England in January to Leeds United.
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Leeds would be required to secure a work permit for Ideguchi, who now falls short of the Football Association's points-based criteria for non-EU footballers, but the club are hopeful of finding a way to secure the transfer. He has since racked up 96 appearances in all competitions, scoring eight goals.
He recently scored the second goal for Japan in a 2-0 win over Australia, which enabled qualification for Japan for World Cup in 2018 in Russian Federation.
Ideguchi, left, scored his first goal for Japan last month against Australia.
Ideguchi, who seems to be the player Orta was on about, is no doubt a talented player but a move for the four-times Japan worldwide would also be likely to put Leeds on the map in Japan and benefit them financially.