Keisuke Honda has been told he can leave CSKA Moscow if the Russian side get their asking price.
The 27-year-old’s current contract with the club expires at the end of the year, which means CSKA Moscow must sell him now if they don’t want to run the risk of him leaving the team for free.
“The situation has not changed. Honda could be speaking to another club at the moment - we are ready to let him go if we receive a reasonable offer,” said CSKA’s general director Roman Babaev.
He would be a superb signing for Everton because of his experience and the fact he’s available for such an apparently low fee.
CSKA Moscow are not in a strong bargaining position because the player doesn’t have a big contract which would allow them to throw around much larger numbers.
The only way his fee could significantly increase is if the Premier League sides interested in him; Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, all start bidding against each other to try and sign him.
That leaves Everton at a disadvantage because they don’t have the resources to fall back on, which could see them priced out of the race for his transfer.
Liverpool should be all over this possible deal like a rash following Brendan Rodgers’ admission that he is looking for another creative attacking signing before the start of the new season.
The fee fits in line with Liverpool’s budget nicely and he’s very similar to the other signings Rodgers has made so far this summer in the respect that he’s a small guy, good on the ball and likes to pass possession around.
Rodgers has also done his business quickly, showing a necessity to use speed to complete deals which is important here because Liverpool could work out a deal fast before other sides can react.
As far as Tottenham and Arsenal are concerned, both North London sides are in a position where he wouldn’t be guaranteed regular first team football.
He would be a very handy signing for either side and the prospect of European football with either will be appealing but that doesn’t detract from the fact Honda will not want to go anywhere where he isn’t assured of regular playing time.
Tottenham and Arsenal already have very competitive midfield squads which means even if they come in with significant interest and good offers, there is still a chance Honda may turn them down.
There is a real bargain up for grabs at the moment and it will be fascinating to see who lands him.
Where do you think he’ll end up?
image: © Pavel "KoraxDC" Kazachkov