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Monday, Dec. 19, 2005

Urawa, Ono begin talks

ROTTERDAM (Kyodo) Urawa Reds started talks with Shinji Ono in a bid to regain the services of the Japan midfielder, but both sides failed to reach an agreement Saturday.

Shuzo Nakamura, a senior Urawa official, said after his meeting Saturday night with Ono that the possibility of the Feyenoord player rejoining the J. League side "is not zero but he strongly wants to continue playing in Europe."

Nakamura traveled to the Netherlands after Feyenoord said Thursday that the Dutch top-division side have accepted Urawa's bid for Ono. Nakamura and Ono are scheduled to meet again on Sunday.

Ono joined Urawa from Shimizu Shogyo high school in 1998 and played in the World Cup finals in France that year as an 18-year-old.

He was transferred to Feyenoord in the summer of 2001 and made his second World Cup appearance in the 2002 tournament co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.

But his career has been plagued by a series of injuries, most recently a stress fracture in his foot in June and a toe injury in October. He has not appeared in a competitive match since undergoing surgery on his right toe in October.

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