Talks between Manchester United and Urawa Red Diamonds are ‘progressing smoothly’ after the Premier League giants submitted a J-League record £5 million bid for goalkeeper Zion Suzuki.
Now, we would hazard a guess that Zion Suzuki is not a name familiar to many Old Trafford matchgoers.
But the fact that Manchester United’s most surprising target of the summer window models his game on that of Ederson Moraes, however, should go some way to explaining why Suzuki is emerging as an option for Erik ten Hag’s side.
Suzuki, in quotes reported by Japanese outlet Sponichi, said that his ambition is to help set up a goal with the sort of raking pass Ederson made his trademark under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.
“I want to make a play that is directly linked to scoring,” the 20-year-old said.
Clearly, Suzuki sees himself as more than just a goalkeeper. Like Andre Onana – the Inter Milan ace who has emerged as Ten Hag’s number one target to replace the out-of-contract David de Gea – the fresh-faced Japan international is as comfortable starting attacks as he is stopping them.
Manchester United in Zion Suzuki talks
Suzuki’s confidence in possession, coupled with his aerial presence and his burly 6ft 3ins frame, makes the USA-born glovesman a goalkeeper of serious potential.
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It’s fitting, then, that he could soon become the most expensive export in the history of Japan’s top-flight.
The £5 million fee ‘formally offered’ by Manchester United is £500,000 more than the figure Celtic stumped up to sign Kyogo Furuhashi from Vissel Kobe back in 2021.
Sponichi reports that talks between United and Urawa Red Diamonds are heading in the right direction; an agreement now ‘imminent’.
Suzuki, however, may need to be patient as he awaits an opportunity under Ten Hag. And not just because Onana – should he arrive from Inter Milan – is likely to have the number one shirt locked down at Old Trafford.
Sponichi adds that Man United may have to loan Suzuki out until he can obtain the requisite work permit, like Brighton and Hove Albion did when signing compatriot Kaoru Mitoma from Kawasaki Frontale two years ago.
Mitoma spent the 2021/22 season on loan at Union Saint-Gilloise in Belgium.