Stuttgart close on Okazaki

Labbadia hoping to bring in Japan international

Okazaki: Stuttgart target

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Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia has confirmed the club are closing in on a deal to sign Japan international striker Shinji Okazaki.

The Bundesliga club have been long-term admirers of Okazaki and are now trying to agree a deal ahead of the January transfer window opening.

Okazaki is available on a free transfer from Shimizu S-Pulse and is expected in Stuttgart early next month to undergo a medical.

Labbadia told Bild: "He is a very versatile player who can play across the board in attack.

"But we will have to wait and see. He would miss the entire preparation and the first three games of the second half of the season due to the Asian Cup.

"Nevertheless, it is a good step to sign him."