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Shinji Okazaki, Malaga's star signing this summer

Caminero greets Okazaki on his arrival at María Zambrano station on Wednesday.
Caminero greets Okazaki on his arrival at María Zambrano station on Wednesday. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • The Japanese forward, who won the Premier League with Leicester, arrived in the city on Wednesday night

Forward Shinji Okazaki arrived in the city's María Zambrano train station on Wednesday night ahead of completing his free transfer move to Malaga.

Crowds greeted the Japan international, most recently linked to Leicester City with whom he won the English Premier League in 2015-16.

Okazaki passed his medical on Thursday and is awaiting clearance to be able to join Víctor Sánchez and his squad who are currently training at La Quinta near Marbella.

Okazaki, 33, is expected to be the star signing of the summer given his profile and that of the club who will once more be in the second division.

Though he lost his place in the Leicester team in the last two seasons, Okazaki comes with the personal backing of sporting director Jose Luis Caminero who values his work ethic and his flexibility in attacking areas.

The Japanese forward first arrived in Europe to play for Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga, before joining another German team, Mainz 05. He then joined Leicester in 2015. Okazaki has represented his country on 119 occasions.

Upon his arrival in the city, Okazaki expressed his satisfaction at joining the Blue and Whites: "I always wanted to play in Spain. It doesn't matter to me that it's in Segunda; I'm really happy to be here."

Okazaki's arrival sees an end to the paralysis around the club with preseason training well under way and no new arrivals through the door.

As SUR in English reported last week, a deal for Stoichkov had been agreed. However, after waiting for a week for club president Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani to sign off on the deal, the forward signed for Alcorcón instead.

The same problem also threatened to derail the Okazaki deal but that seems, for the time being at least, to have got over the line.

Rosales joins Leganés

And just as one comes in, another has gone out the door. Right-back Roberto Rosales has brought an end to his five-year association with the club, joining La Liga side Leganés for around one million euros.

Meanwhile, winger Jony has been training with Italian side Lazio but that move is yet to be signed off. The departure of Javi Ontiveros to Villarreal, likewise, is still pending the approval of Al-Thani.

But despite this perceived inaction, coach Víctor Sánchez said in a press conference on Monday that he was "confident" that the squad would be in place in time for the start of the season. "I am in constant dialogue with Al-Thani who tells us that we will have a competitive team."