Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 July 2019

Barcelona agree deal to sign Japan forward Hiroki Abe for reported €2 million

Kashima Antlers attacker, 20, was part of the Japan squad who made an early exit at the Copa America, featuring in all three group matches

Japan's Hiroki Abe, left, and Ecuador's Arturo Mina vie for the ball during the 2019 Copa America group match in Brazil. AFP
Japan's Hiroki Abe, left, and Ecuador's Arturo Mina vie for the ball during the 2019 Copa America group match in Brazil. AFP

Barcelona have signed highly-rated Japanese attacker Hiroki Abe from Kashima Antlers.

The J-League club confirmed on Friday that Abe, 20, named the league's best young player of 2018, was set to undergo a medical with the Spanish side and would join up with their "B" side.

No financial details were disclosed, but it has been reported that the Spanish champions will pay Kashima €2 million (Dh8.2 million) for Abe.

"It was a difficult decision to leave [Kashima] mid-season, but I chose to make the move because I absolutely want to take on this new challenge at Barcelona," Kyodo news agency quoted Abe as saying.

Abe was part of Hajime Moriyasu's Japan squad who made an early exit at the Copa America, featuring in all three group matches.

He is the second young talent to depart the J-League this summer. In June, 18-year-old Takefusa Kubo, dubbed the "Japanese Messi", joined Real Madrid Castilla, the Spanish giants' reserve team, on a five-year deal from FC Tokyo.

Updated: July 12, 2019 12:32 PM

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