DORTMUND, GERMANY - MAY 05: Shinji Kagawa of Dortmund controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and SC Freiburg at Signal Iduna Park on May 5, 2012 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)
United have confirmed today that Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa will join the club from Borussia Dortmund, pending a medical and work permit.
The not so well kept secret of Borussia Dortmund Shinji Kagawa moving to Manchester United is at last official. United confirmed today in their official website that they had agreed to terms with Dortmund for the transfer of the 23-year-old Japanese international to Old Trafford. Reports have the transfer fee somewhere in the region of £16 million. The deal is subject to Kagawa passing a medical and getting his work permit.
Reports about the Red Devils' interest in Kagawa began in earnest in late May after the midfielder was scouted by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. Kagawa scored 21 goals in 49 appearances for Dortmund and will be the first Japanese player to sign with United.
United's official website announced the deal with the following statement:
"Manchester United is delighted to announce that it has agreed terms with both Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Kagawa for his transfer to the Club."
Rio Ferdinand jumped on Twitter to express his excitment about the signing.
Welcome to Shinji Kagawa for his transfer to Man Utd. heres to a succesful time here bro!— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) June 5, 2012
Kagawa, who is currently with the Japanese national team preparing for two upcoming friendlies, told the Kyodo News that "the transfer is not complete for the time being" and "I have yet to sign the contract". He continued by saying he was focused on the upcoming matches and any discussion of the transfer was better left to after those matches.
This is a bit of a confusing signing for United considering Kagawa is a central attacking midfielder, a position played by Wayne Rooney for basically the past two seasons. In order for Kagawa to start, Rooney will have to move forward in to more a striker role or Kagawa will have to move outside. Trouble is, he's not a winger and United already have Nani and Ashley Young to play outside on the attack.
It's difficult to see just how Kagawa fits onto this team, but he's talented enough that United can probably make it work. If nothing else, they'll need some rotation for their attacking players, and Kagawa is versatile enough to slot in wherever he's needed.