The Asahi Shumbin leads with the news that Yahiro Kazama is expected to be appointed manager of Kawasaki Frontale, following the dismissal of Naoki Soma on 11 April. The 50 year old, who etched his name in Japan’s history books when he became the first player to score in the J.League, spent several years of his footballing career in Germany before joining Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s predecessor Mazda SC, and was capped 18 times by the Samurai Blue. He will leave his current position as head coach of the University of Tsukuba to join the Kanagawa Prefecture outfit, and it marks an interesting approach from the Frontale board, Kazama having never previously headed a professional team.
The Japan Under-23 national team is set to participate in the 40th edition of the Toulon Tournment, according to the Yomiuri Shimbun. This marks the first time that the age limit has been extended to Under-23 sides, having previously been restricted to Under-21 teams. The competition, which is not run under the auspices of UEFA or individual national football associations, runs from 23 May to 1 June. Japan has been drawn in Group A together with Morocco, the Netherlands and Turkey, and will be used manager Takashi Sekizuka as a warm-up before the 2012 Olympic Men’s football tournament commences on 26 July.
And finally, Premier League leaders Manchester United have tabled an offer to Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa which would see him receive a salary of approximately 88,000 GBP/108,000 EUR per week were he to agree to join the club, reports the Sankei Shimbun. The former Cerezo Osaka midfielder, whose contract expires with Die Schwarzgelben in June 2013, has not yet signed a newly improved deal from the German giants which would see his salary double if he chooses to stay at the Westfalenstadion, is expected to enter negotiations at the end of the Bundesliga season. This may come as early as Saturday 21 April should Bayern Munich fail to beat Werden Bremen.