A cash-rich Japanese football club is interested in acquiring Brazilian superstar Ronaldo on loan as the AC Milan striker recovers from a ruptured tendon, a report said Wednesday.
The unidentified J-League club, rumoured to be in or around the greater Tokyo area, has one billion yen (10 million dollars) a year to spend on players, the daily tabloid Nikkan Gendai reported.
The 31-year-old Ronaldo has ruled out retirement after undergoing surgery in February for a ruptured tendon in his left knee. He is expected to be sidelined for at least nine months.
“He is expected to become able to run in May and train with the ball before the summer. That is enough to attract attention because he is Ronaldo,” the daily quoted an unnamed Japanese broadcaster as saying.
“Depending on progress in his recovery, he may be asked to extend his loan period and play in the J-League in the 2009 season” which starts next March, the person said.
“The J-League and corporate sponsors are likely to join hands in backing the plan because it could serve as a catalyst in reinvigorating the league’s popularity,” he added.
There are nine J-League clubs in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo. Among them are league champions Kashima Antlers and Asian club champions Urawa Red Diamonds.
Ronaldo said last week he had the idea of playing for Brazil’s Flamengo, as part of his rehabilitation, before returning to Milan.
“I have an excellent relationship with my team. But I have to be up to the task. The idea is to go for a few months to Brazil — why not Flamengo,” the three-time FIFA world player of the year told the Italian daily Gazzetta dello Sport.
“And if all goes well I’ll be a Rossonero (AC Milan player) once again.”
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