Newcastle United misfit Yoshinori Muto could rejoin Bundesliga outfit Mainz on loan this summer, according to Fussball Transfers – and this may be good news for Crystal Palace.
Three years after Shinji Okazaki swapped The 05ers for Leicester City, another Japanese international striker moved to the Premier League from Mainz.
But, while Okazaki wrote his name into English football folklore as a key part of that title-winning Foxes side, Muto has hardly enjoyed the same success on British soil.
In 24 games, the former FC Tokyo talisman has scored just once in Newcastle colours, and that came against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United as far back as October 2018.
These days, Muto has slipped behind even Andy Carroll and Joelinton in Newcastle’s pecking order, with reports in Germany suggesting that the £9.5 million flop could return to the Bundesliga on loan.
Cologne, Augsburg and newly-promoted Arminia Bielefeld are all interested. So too are Mainz – the club Muto scored 20 goals for in 66 top-flight appearances.
And this is where Crystal Palace come in.
According to the Guardian, Roy Hodgson’s goal-shy side have identified Jean-Philippe Mateta as the answer to their finishing woes, making an initial £14 million offer for the rangy Frenchman in late-August.
Mateta is the main man at Mainz and, if he moves to England to replace the bumbling Christian Benteke, a replacement will be required.
And who better than a man who enjoyed the best years of his career at the Opel Arena?
Crystal Palace’s record signings
Christian Benteke – £27 million
Mamadou Sakho – £22 million
Eberechi Eze – £19.5 million
Patrick van Aanholt – £14 million
Andros Townsend – £13 million
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