July 12, 2019 / 8:09 AM / 6 days ago

Barcelona agree deal to sign Japan's Abe

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Copa America Brazil 2019 - Group C - Ecuador v Japan - Mineirao Stadium, Belo Horizonte, Brazil - June 24, 2019 Japan's Hiroki Abe in action with Ecuador's Arturo Mina REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

(Reuters) - Barcelona have agreed a deal to sign emerging Japanese talent Hiroki Abe from Kashima Antlers, the J-League club said on Friday.

The 20-year-old attacker, named the league’s best young player of 2018, was set to undergo a medical with the Spanish side and would join up with their ‘B’ side.

Financial details were not released but earlier reports said Barca would pay around 2 million euros (£1.8 million) for Abe, who made his senior international debut at the Copa America and appeared in all three of their matches.

“It was a difficult decision to leave (Kashima) mid-season, but I chose to make the move because I absolutely want to take on this new challenge at Barcelona,” Kyodo news agency quoted Abe as saying in a statement.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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