Shinji Kagawa is not poised for a dramatic return to Borussia Dortmund, despite suggesting that he would like to play for them again one day.
The Japanese international midfielder joined Manchester United as Dortmund’s best player, but failed to live up to his own expectations in his first season at Old Trafford.
And the rumour mill interpreted his recent comments as a come-and-get-me plea to his former club.
“One day I will return, if Dortmund agree to it,” the 24-year-old Samurai Blue star told Japanese television show Foot Brain.
Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp would surely welcome Kagawa back with open arms, after saying he "cries" when he sees Kagawa on the bench at United.
But no sooner had those words rolled off Kagawa’s tongue than his agent and Dortmund both denied that an imminent return for the classy schemer is on the cards.
“At this time, I’d like to think that Shinji will stay in Manchester, but everything is possible in football,” agent Thomas Kroth told Bild, while Dortmund honcho Aki Watzke added: “The door will always be open for Shinji, but currently that is not an issue.”
Kagawa has again gone on record to say his injury ravaged first season at United did not turn out as he had hoped it would, and that he is determined to do far better this time around.
“A lot of things were on my mind,” he said. “
"I am not at all satisfied with my performance. I did not score as many goals as I wanted and, moreover, I was injured.
"Other than the fact that we won the championship I cannot feel like I achieved everything I wanted to achieve. For me personally, it was not a good season.”
United continue to be linked to Barcelona star Cesc Fabregas, who is a similar kind of player to Kagawa.
Perhaps they were also disappointed that Kagawa did not immediately set the English Premier League aflame.
But new manager David Moyes says he is “looking forward to working” with the wiry Japanese star, who “Sir Alex spoke of in glowing terms.”
And so maybe United should simply give up on their seemingly superfluous pursuit of Cesc, and shift their trust to Shinji.
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