Japanese footballer Keisuke Honda to join Lazio
Japan and CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda, the 2011 Asian Cup's most valuable player, is to join Serie A side Lazio in a 14-million-euro transfer, a Japanese sports daily reported Sunday.
CSKA and Lazio have narrowed their differences and come to terms on the transfer fee -- worth $18.5 million -- after the 25-year-old Honda agreed other terms with the Rome outfit, the Sports Nippon said.
Following the club-to-club agreement, Honda lunched with Lazio president Claudio Lotito in Rome after flying in from Barcelona, where he was undergoing rehabilitation on his injured right knee, the daily said.
He is expected to undergo a medical at Lazio, possibly on Sunday, and his transfer will be formally announced as soon as the Italian side's quota on non-European Union players is vacated to allow Honda, the Sports Nippon said.
Several major English clubs including Liverpool, Arsenal and Aston Villa were reported to have shown an interest in Honda during the Asian Cup in January last year when Japan won a record fourth continental title.
In June, Juventus reportedly held talks with CSKA Moscow over the midfielder, who was also linked with Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the month.
After four years at J-League powerhouse Nagoya Grampus and two years at Dutch club VVV Venlo, Honda joined CSKA in January 2010 and became the first Japanese player to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
He was the driving force behind the Blue Samurai when they reached the last 16 at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
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