Manchester United have stepped up their chase of Shinji Kagawa after Eden Hazard revealed that he would be joining Chelsea.
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Reports in Germany last night claim United have all but agreed a €15m euro fee with Borussia Dortmund that could rise to €22m (£18m).
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc is quoted as saying there are only a few details to be ironed out which could mean Kagawa signs on at Old Trafford in June.
It appears as though the Japanese star was United’s second choice as the club had ample opportunity to get the deal done before he left to link-up with his national team last week.
But Hazard’s announcement yesterday that he had decided to join the “Champions League winner” meant United needed to act fast to avoid a double disappointment.
Kagawa is set to play in three World Cup qualifiers in the next fortnight, against Oman, Jordan and Australia, after which United hope he will arrive in Manchester for a press conference.
SOURCE: Setanta Sports
In the face of Eden Hazard’s decision to join Chelsea, Sir Alex Ferguson has wasted no time in stepping up his pursuit of Shinji Kagawa, a tricky midfielder with a fabulous goalscoring record. Indeed, Kagawa may not be as well-known or highly sought as the Belgian but there is a compelling argument that he has already achieved more than the teasing-tweeter: while Hazard has just two goals for Belgium in 27 appearances, Kagawa can boast ten in 30 for Japan, while his ratio at club level, where he has inspired Dortmund to consecutive Bundesliga titles, is also more impressive.
The move makes sense for all parties. Kagawa has outgrown Dortmund and achieved all he can with the German side. He will relish the challenging of helping United wrestle the Premier League crown back from the noisy neighbours. For United’s part, they are clearly in need of midfield reinforcements. Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes remain awe-inspiringly impressive but neither is likely to continue beyond the end of next year and Ferguson will be eager for his new recruit to learn from the pair for at least a season. Elsewhere in midfield, Darren Fletcher’s fitness remains a mystery while Park Ji-Sung has endured a frustrating year of injuries; it is hard to see Kagawa not playing a crucial part in United’s season to come, should he sign.
For one club, the imminent transfers of Hazard and Kagawa cannot come soon enough. Both United and Chelsea have been heavily linked with Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Luka Modric, with the latter having had a £40 million bid rejected last summer. The arrivals of Hazard in West London and Kagawa in Manchester may allow the Spurs hierarchy to breathe easier where Modric is concerned, if only for the time being.