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Saturday, Jan. 27, 2007

Umesaki transfers to Grenoble

OITA (Kyodo) Japan midfielder Tsukasa Umesaki will join French-second division club Grenoble from J. League side Oita Trinita on loan until the end of June, Oita officials said Friday.

Umesaki, 19, who made his debut for the national team in last September's 1-0 win away to Yemen in Asian Cup qualifying, becomes the second Japanese teenager to join Grenoble in recent weeks.

"I am pleased the deal is done," said Umesaki. "Last year I broke into the national team and really grew as a player, but there are still a lot of things I know I need to work on.

To get to the top, I knew I had to take my chance (on this move)." Striker Sho Ito, 18, turned down offers from a host of J. League clubs and signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Grenoble last month.

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