J-League side Gamba Osaka have announced the signing of star defender Yasuyuki Konno from FC Tokyo.
The multi-year contract will come at considerable cost for Gamba, and they will
reportedly pay one million euros in transfer fees in addition to a
similar yearly salary.
With 32 goals in 260 J-League appearances, the 28-year-old is widely considered to be one of the best centre-backs in Japan.
Konno went straight from regional powerhouse Tohoku High School to Consadole Sapporo in 2001 before joining FC Tokyo in 2004, becoming an integral part of their backline.
Despite yearly offers from Gamba, Konno chose to stay with Tokyo even after the capital city club’s relegation at the end of the 2010 season.
He served as captain in 2011, playing 33 matches, while also earning 14 caps for Alberto Zaccheroni’s Japan squad.
The only player to start in every match during Zaccheroni’s reign, Konno contributed to Japan’s surprise round-of-16 appearance in the 2010 World Cup, as well as their 2011 Asian Cup triumph.