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7:00 PM UTC Jul 2, 2016
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Takuma Asano claims Arsenal have approached him about transfer

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Ross Dyer assess the latest from the rumour mill.

Sanfrecce Hiroshima striker Takuma Asano says he has been approached by Arsenal about a possible move to the Emirates Stadium.

According to reports in the Japanese media, Asano, 21, has been the subject of a bid from the Gunners.

And the Japan international, who is set to play for his country at the Olympics in August, claimed after a friendly against South Africa that the Premier League club have been in contact.

"I was a little stunned," he is quoted as saying by Kyodo News. "But I feel like I...

Hisato Sato scores his 158th goal to become all-time J-League top scorer

Hisato Sato
Hisato Sato has moved into top spot.

TOKYO -- Hisato Sato scored his 158th career goal on Sunday to become the all-time leading scorer in the J-League and help Sanfrecce Hiroshima to a 1-1 draw with Nagoya Grampus.

After Robin Simovic scored in the 17th minute for Nagoya, Sato, 33, netted a 43rd-minute equaliser to move ahead of former Jubilo Iwata striker Masashi Nakayama and Kawasaki Frontale's Yoshito Okubo, who scored his 157th goal on Saturday.

Sato's goal came when a shot from Kosei Shibasaki deflected off his leg into the net.


 By Kelvin Leong

Singapore star Izwan Mahbud's freezing introduction to Japan

Singapore goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud's one-week trial at Matsumoto Yamaga FC got off to a cold start with more than 60 fans turning up at his first training to catch the LionsXII star in action.

Having gained overnight stardom as the 'Singapore Spiderman' who singlehandedly repelled 18 shots to force a goalless draw against Singapore in an AFC World Cup qualifier earlier this year, the 25-year-old is in Japan trying to earn a playing contract with second-tier side Matsumoto Yamaga.

His first training...

Sanfrecce Hiroshima edge Gamba Osaka in J-League final first leg

OSAKA, Japan -- Sanfrecce Hiroshima scored twice in stoppage time to beat Gamba Osaka 3-2 away in the first leg of the J-League final on Wednesday.

Shun Nagasawa put Gamba ahead midway through the first half but Douglas leveled in the 80th minute.

Yasuyuki Konno looked to have won it for Gamba just one minute after Douglas' equalizer, but Sho Sasaki scored on a header in the first minute of stoppage time.

Yoshifumi Kashiwa sealed the victory six minutes into added time to put Sanfrecce in control...

 By Kelvin Leong

Singapore's Izwan Mahbud ready to make dream come true in Japan

If Izwan secures a contract with Yamaga FC, he will be the first Singaporean to play in Japan. (Photo credit: FAS)

Singapore and LionsXII goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud will be hoping to fulfil his childhood dream of playing in a top Asian football league when he travels to Japan on Tuesday for a one-week trial with J-League side Matsumoto Yamaga FC.

Having just ended their season in J-League Division 1, the Ptarmigans were relegated and are rebuilding a team strong enough to challenge for promotion in the upcoming year. Coached by former Japanese international midfielder Yasuharu Sorimachi, Yamaga regularly fills...