Shimizu S-Pulse midfielder Hideki Ishige is to spend a spell at Manchester City early next year, but his manager has denied that the youngster is to sign for the Premier League champions, according to ESPN.
The youngster will train with City in January, but Shimizu manager Afshin Ghotbi stressed that there was no offer on the table and that “City just want to see him”.
Ghotbi, a former coach of Iran’s national team, said he was determined to keep Ishige at the club, but he wants him to experience other football cultures.
He said: “If you want to build top-class players, you have to give them various experiences and opportunities to see at first-hand what the world level is about.
“What better experience for Ishige than to train with the first team of Manchester City, the champions of England, and have [Roberto] Mancini see him at first hand?
“As far as I’m concerned, he’s not for sale and we want him to be a part of S-Pulse for the next few years to come.”
Ghotbi said Ishige was a “real fantastic talent” and a “perfect example” of the high quality of young players in Japan, and predicted increasing interest from European clubs in Japanese players.
However, the experience Ishige will embark on in Manchester should not be over exaggerated. Ghotbi concluded: “We are doing the same with other players with other clubs.”
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