Bayern hope to keep Japan`s Usami long-term

Munich: Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich want to keep Japanese forward Takashi Usami for the long-term, club president Uli Hoeness said, as the 19-year-old joined on a one-year loan deal.

The transfer will only be meaningful "if the player plays for us for the long term," Hoeness said. "If he were to become a permanent player, which is something we all want, that would be a fine thing.

"That would also surely help on the Asian market," the president added, referring to the fact that Asian sport viewers will likely closely follow the Japanese star`s career.

Usami, touted as one of Japan`s brightest prospects, arrived in the southern German city late on Thursday and is to be officially presented to the press at the club`s Allianz Arena on Monday.

He has agreed to join Bayern on a one-year loan from Gamba Osaka.

On arrival, after a 20-hour flight from Japan, Usami greeted the press with a loud "Servus" -- the Bavarian colloquial `hello`.

"I am very proud to be able to play with such a big club," he told reporters.

Usami, who made his professional debut with Gamba in 2009, this year received his first international call-up in the Kirin Cup tournament involving hosts Japan, Peru and the Czech Republic.

At 17, Usami scored on his professional debut for Gamba in a 2-1 defeat by FC Seoul in the AFC Champions League in May 2009.

He won the J-League Young Player of the Year award last season, when he scored seven goals in 26 league matches.

Usami has scored one goal in six league matches in the current March-December season, which was disrupted by the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster.

Bureau Report

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