Japan international Shinji Okazaki admits Premier League dream after Leicester bid

Coface Arena - Mainz Stand - SV Mainz 05

Having recently been linked to both Arsenal and Liverpool, as well as been the subject of a Leicester City bid, Mainz striker Shinji Okazaki has admitted his desire to move to England.

Mainz striker Shinji Okazaki has admitted that it would be a “dream” to move to the Premier League, following reports that Leicester have lodged an £8 million bid for his services.

Okazaki, 28, moved to Mainz from Bundesliga rivals Stuttgart in the summer of 2013, and has since hit an impressive 25 goals in 54 total appearances.

The Japan international’s excellent performances are understood to have attracted the interest of Arsenal and Liverpool in recent months, and both Premier League giants are reported to have sent scouts to see him in action on a number of occasions.

Leicester have since emerged as another potential suitor, with Nigel Pearson’s side desperate for additional firepower, but it remains to be seen how the impending signing of Croatian front man Andrej Kramaric will affect their pursuit.

Nevertheless, Okazaki himself is well aware of the interest in his services and told Kyodo News ahead of the Asian Cup in Australia that a switch to England is a long-held ambition of his.

“I haven’t heard all the details personally and I am not overvaluing myself but obviously it is nice to get that kind of offer,” the 84-times capped forward said.

“It has been a dream of mine since my youth to play in the Premier League and I have been watching the Premier League since I turned pro.

“I am not saying that the level is higher than the Bundesliga but the leagues have a different kind of quality and different culture.

“It would be very interesting. I would view this as my last chance, wherever I go,” he added. “I think there is more individual quality in the Premier League, while it is more about teamwork in the Bundesliga and I think that suits Japanese players more.”

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