Kagawa to miss Olympics

Japan international given time off to be ready for start of season

Shinji Kagawa: Japan decide to give their playmaker the summer off to rest

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Sir Alex Ferguson's preparations for the new season have been boosted by the news Shinji Kagawa will not be called up by Japan for the Olympics.

The 23-year-old is poised to join Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund in a £17million deal subject to him passing a medical and gaining a work permit.

Japan will face Iraq in a World Cup qualifier in September and Oman in November, which has prompted their Football Association to decide their star player would benefit from the summer off.

Japanese FA technical director Hiromi Hara said: "Kagawa is one of the leading members of the Japan senior team, and he is almost certainly going to join one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Rest

"We came to the conclusion that not giving him enough rest is not good for his future or our final World Cup qualifiers.

"I talked to Kagawa directly and told him he would not be chosen."

Ferguson is doing his best to ensure his planning for the upcoming season is not disrupted.

With the exception of Ryan Giggs, he has barred every over-age United player from being called up by Great Britain boss Stuart Pearce and convinced Mexico to leave out Javier Hernandez.