Japan may have not made it past the Group Stage at the recent FIFA Confederations Cup but they did win admirers for their attacking style of play; in particular in the 4-3 defeat to Italy in Matchday Two.
One player who truly shone was CSKA Moscow attacking midfielder Keisuke Honda. After initially catching the eye of many of Europe’s biggest clubs after the World Cup in South Africa three years ago talk over a potential Russian exit for the player have dampened down.
Last January a move to Italian outfit Lazio fell through and the 2011 Asian Cup MVP admitted he was happy to stay in the Russian capital until the end of his current contract.
That contract expires in December and with that in mind the Russian champions are ready to sell the 27-year-old; at a cut-price valuation of just £5 million.
Italy is still mooted to be his most likely destination; with AC Milan leading the chase for his signature this summer.
However Premier League sides are also said to be keen; in particular those on Merseyside.
Liverpool have a long invested interest in the player and are again being linked, but that being said, with Phillipe Coutinho and Luis Alberto recent recruits in the Anfield fold.
But more recently Merseyside rivals Everton have been linked with making a bid for the player as a potential replacement for Maraoune Fellaini; who has been linked with a move to Arsenal this summer.
And if CSKA had any hope of keeping the ‘Japanese Ronaldo’ it doesn’t appear that way.
Reports in Russia this week contend that the club are seeking replacements for Honda this summer; with AZ Alkmaar playmaker Willie Overtoom. The Cameroonian international only signed with the Dutch outfit in January from Heracles Almelo; but that will not stop CSKA from taking a close look at him.
Izvestia suggest that CSKA would be willing to offer €2million for the 26-year-old; and considering AZ’s financial situation it may be a deal they consider taking up.
So it seems it seems Honda is definitely on his way this summer; and if Everton could pull it off it would be a massive coup for the club.
Is Honda likely to join Everton this summer?
image: © yoppy