Impressed with his displays at the World Cup, Italian giants AC Milan are weighing up a move for Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda. The 24-year-old first came to the attention of Milan with a series of fine performances in the Champion League for Russian side CSKA Moscow, who had been quick off the blocks to snap up Honda from Dutch club VVV Venlo in late 2006.
Honda would not come cheap for the Italians and the signs are CSKA have no intention of selling a players they have only just acquired, but the Gazetta dello Sport states Milan officials have already sounded out the Russians.
If the Japanese midfielder did make the move to the San Siro he would become the first ever from his country to play for the famous Rossoneri.
Arsene Wenger has lauded Japan playmaker Keisuke Honda just a few months after missing out on signing the Japan star.
The Arsenal boss is understood to have been close to taking the 24-year-old to the Emirates Stadium in the winter before CSKA Moscow outbid all suitors to buy him from Dutch minnows VVV Venlo for £5million.
He seamlessly fitted in at CSKA, helping them to the Champions League quarter-final, and has now been hailed as the star performer at the World Cup by Wenger.
'This Japanese team is based on a solid and collective defence in which everybody knows exactly what to do,' said Wenger in analysing Japan's World Cup performance.
'When they get the ball they can give it to Honda - and the magic starts.
'When they get that genius Honda playing up front, he has shown what a top class player he is. For me he's the best performer of the competition so far.'
Liverpool also watched Honda at VVV Venlo, while Ajax, PSV and Twente were also keen before CSKA move quickly to strike a deal in December.
The 6ft forward, who can play on either wing or behind a centre forward, speaks good English [lol Honglish] and Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp admitted last week that he had been tracking Honda's progress in Russia.
Reports in Catalonia say Barcelona have an eye on him as a potential future recruit, but it would take a big bid to convince CSKA to part with a player just seven months into a four-year contract.
Honda's rise has been impressive. Little more than 12 months ago he was playing second division football in Holland, helping VVV Venlo to promotion with 16 goals in his first full season since heading to Europe from Nagoya Grampus Eight in January 2008.
Source: 1, 2
Which club do you think will be suitable for him?