Yosuke Ideguchi close to ending nightmare Leeds United spell with Japan return

Yosuke Ideguchi is close to ending his nightmare spell with Leeds United by returning to Gamba Osaka.

By Phil Hay
Monday, 17th June 2019, 1:26 pm
Leeds United playmaker Yosuke Ideguchi.
Leeds United playmaker Yosuke Ideguchi.

Leeds are discussing a deal to send Ideguchi back to the club who sold him to United in a £500,000 transfer 18 months ago.

Ideguchi signed a four-and-a-half year contract at Elland Road in January 2018, the first Japanese player to join United, but he is set to leave this summer without making a first-team appearance for the club.

The 22-year-old finished last season on loan at Greuther Furth in Bundesliga 2 but the German club were unable to finance an option to sign the midfielder permanently.

Leeds and head coach Marcelo Bielsa have ruled him out of their plans for next season and will now attempt to push through a move to Gamba Osaka, freeing up space on the wage bill.

Ideguchi was part of Japan’s international squad when he switched to European football but his inactivity at Leeds and an unsuccessful loan to Cultural Leonesa in Spain during his earliest months with United cost him a place at the 2018 World Cup.

A season-long loan at Greuther Furth, meanwhile, was interrupted by a knee ligament injury which ruled him out for several months. Ideguchi made his comeback shortly before the end of the German campaign.