Report: Stoke City join West Brom in race to sign Japan international Yuto Nagatomo

Inter Milan’s Yuto Nagatomo has been linked with West Bromwich Albion and now Stoke City.

According to the latest reports in the Italian editorial TMW, Yuto Nagatomo’s time at Inter Milan could be drawing to a close amid intense interest from West Bromwich Albion and Stoke City.

The Japan international is currently with the Inter squad on their pre-season tour of China, yet his future at the San Siro has been questioned due to an expected lack of first-team opportunities.

A previous report last month from La Gazzetta dello Sport credited West Brom with holding a strong interest in Nagatomo, along with Schalke 04 and fellow Serie A side Sampdoria.

A bid for the versatile full-back is seemingly yet to materialise, and fresh reports from TMW state that the player has a new suitor in the form of West Brom’s Premier League rivals Stoke City.

Who would prove the best option for Yuto Nagatomo?

Capped an impressive 81 times by Japan, Nagatomo is an experienced full-back who is capable of playing on either flank and can also be deployed as a marauding wing-back.

The 28-year-old’s attributes and all-action style of play would arguably suit the Premier League more than Italy, and in West Brom and Stoke he has two potentially sound destinations.

But which club boasts the best opportunity? Well, the Baggies are light in the full-back areas and a switch to the Hawthorns would undoubtedly see him become an instant first-team regular.

However, Tony Pulis’ style of play may see Nagatomo restricted to largely defensive duties, limiting his ability to push forward and make an impact in the final third.

Stoke, under the guidance of Mark Hughes, would arguably be a better fit in terms of style and the Potters do have scope to bring in a new left-back to challenge Dutchman Erik Pieters.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch