Disgraced Japanese player set for German move

September 18, 2007

TOKYO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Disgraced Japanese player Naoya Kikuchi is poised to join German club Wolfsburg, local media reported on Tuesday.

Kikuchi, sacked by J-League side Jubilo Iwata in June after being arrested for having sex with a 15-year-old girl, is currently training with Wolfsburg.

The 22-year-old midfielder is serving a 12-month domestic suspension imposed by the Japan Football Association as a result of the scandal.

'My thinking is to have him play for our reserve team,' Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath was quoted in Japan's Sports Hochi newspaper.

'He can play there for a year and then move up to the Bundesliga. I will have a look at him at training tomorrow and then make a decision.'

Kikuchi admitted to having sex with a high school student in a car in May and was arrested after the girl reported the case to the police.

The player, a member of Japan's 2004 Athens Olympic squad, tried to hand her 10,000 yen (£50) in cash, but left his wallet in the basket of her bicycle.