Fernando Torres could be the second high-profile Spaniard set for Japan’s J1 League following reports linking him with a move to Sagan Tosu.
The J1 League is set to unveil one of its biggest-ever imports with former Barcelona star Andres Iniesta tipped to sign for Vissel Kobe on Thursday.
However, he might not be the only Spanish FIFA World Cup winner to be gracing Japanese football if rumours surrounding Torres prove to be true.
The Japan Times, citing reports from Spain, claims Torres – a free agent following the end of his deal with boyhood club Atletico Madrid – is favouring a move to the J1 League, despite also having offers from American club Chicago Fire and an unnamed Chinese Super League outfit.
Spanish media now reporting that Fernando Torres to Sagan Tosu is a done deal… Iniesta could land in Tokyo tomorrow… J.League considering dropping foreigner restrictions. All at a time when Japan is potentially sending not the greatest squad to Russia.
— Dan Orlowitz (@aishiterutokyo) May 22, 2018
The prospective capture of Torres would be a massive coup for Sagan, a relatively modest club who were only promoted to the Japanese top flight in 2012 but have since finished in the top five twice in the past six seasons.
Nonetheless, the Tosu-based side’s poor form thus far in 2018, where they have lost 11 of their 21 games in all competition, sees them currently sitting second-from-bottom in the J1 League’s relegation zone.
To go back to the original point, it is about building interest in the clubs. Sagan Tosu is provincial club in Japan, and even if they're doing well they still fly under the radar in terms of exposure. Signing Torres gives them a massive boost.
— Sushi Football (@sushi_football) May 24, 2018
While a move to Vissel would see Iniesta link up with another famous name is ex-Germany international Lukas Podolski, Torres will have to link up with a more modest collection of foreigners if his move to Kyushu comes to fruition.
Sagan’s current contingent of import players consists of Colombia international Victor Ibarbo, who is most famous for his time in Serie A with Cagliari and Roma, and a trio of South Koreans in Kim Min-hyeok, Cho Dong-geon and An Yong-woo.
Although a move to Japan is likely to be one of the final stops for Torres, the 34-year-old has still enjoyed an illustrious career which has seen him win the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea, as well as the World Cup and two European Championships with Spain from 2008 to 2012.
Torres also enjoyed one final hurrah with Los Rojiblancos by winning the Europa League last week following a 3-0 final win over Marseille.