Southampton close on Yoshida
Southampton are on the brink of completing a deal to sign Japan defender Maya Yoshida from Dutch side VVV-Venlo.
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Yoshida, who captained his country at the London Olympics, is set to pen a three-year contract in a deal reportedly worth £2million to join the newly-promoted south-coast club.
Boss Nigel Adkins completely dismissed the prospect of landing the 24-year-old following the weekend's 2-0 home defeat to Wigan. However, on Thursday afternoon the club's official Twitter page revealed a deal was almost done.
"Japanese international Maya Yoshida is set to join £SaintsFC on a three-year deal from VVV-Venlo. More at www.saintsfc.co.uk shortly," the post read.
Central defender Yoshida has made 17 appearances for Japan and will compete for a place at the heart of the back four after the Saints began their return to the top flight, after a seven-year absence, with back-to-back defeats.
His arrival would be the Saints' sixth summer signing with Steven Davis, Nathaniel Clyne, Paulo Gazzaniga, Jay Rodriguez and Emmanuel Mayuka having already joined.
The Saints' spending may not be finished there either with Bologna's Gaston Ramirez apparently top of the club's wish list.
The Uruguay international has been in talks with Saints for some time and despite negotiations faltering at one point last week, an £11million deal is understood to have edged closer towards completion.
Yoshida has already been granted a work permit by the Home Office, with the defender only waiting on an entry clearance to finalise his move.
"I am very grateful to be able to become a Saint and I will do my best for the team and for the supporters," he told the club's website.
"To come to the Premier League was one of my biggest dreams since I was a child.
"I am very grateful to be able to become a Saint and I will do my best for the team and for the supporters.
"I saw a video of the recent history of Southampton since the takeover, which showed me the great supporters when the club was promoted last season.
"I want to show them what I can do as soon as possible and hopefully impress them with my performances."
Yoshida will have to wait to join up with his new team-mates, which include fellow Japanese Tadanari Lee, until after the international break after he was named in the Blue Samurai's squad for their World Cup qualifiers.
"We are delighted to bring in Maya to the club," Adkins said.
"He is a centre-half who is comfortable on both the right and left-hand side as he is good with both feet and has a good physical presence about himself.
"We are really looking forward to working with him here at Southampton."