7 July 2014 16:19
Basel have announced the signing of Japan international Yoichiro Kakitani from Cerezo Osaka.
Kakitani featured at the FIFA World Cup for his country last month, making two substitute appearances as Japan bowed out at the group stages.
The 24-year-old enjoyed a prolific 2013 J.League campaign, netting 21 goals in 34 appearances for Cerezo.
Basel confirmed on Monday that Kakitani had arrived on a four-year deal, and club president Bernhard Heusler was pleased to have captured the attacking midfielder’s signature.
“We have shown great effort for half a year,” he said. “Many other European clubs were interested in this player, so we are more than happy that Kakitani has decided to join Basel.”
Kakitani himself, meanwhile, said the move was the realisation of a long-term ambition.
“Nice to meet you Basel fans,” he said. “I’m Yoichiro Kakitani. It’s my great pleasure to be joining Basel.
“I wish to express my deep gratitude to all the staff and members of Basel, who gave me a chance to fulfil my dream of playing in Europe.
“I will integrate myself into the team as soon as possible, and will give my best contribution to Basel’s victory! [I’m] looking forward to seeing you in Basel.”