Muto completes move to Newcastle United

Newcastle: Japanese international forward Yoshinori Muto has completed his move to Newcastle United after being granted a Governing Body Endorsement (work permit).

Muto has signed an initial four-year contract at St. James’ Park after leaving Bundesliga side Mainz 05 – for whom he appeared against the Magpies in last summer’s friendly in Germany.

He becomes the fifth player to link up with Newcastle ahead of the new English Premier League campaign, following the permanent arrivals of Martin Dúbrvaka, Ki Sung-yueng and Fabian Schär, and the loan capture of Robert Kenedy.

Speaking about his move, Muto said: “I am very happy to be a player for Newcastle United. I am really looking forward to playing in front of the fans.

“As the first Japanese Newcastle United player, I am honoured to be a player for such a big club. I hope to achieve good results – that is what I am here to do. I would like to perform well and leave my name in Newcastle’s history.”

Manager Rafa Benítez added: “I am really pleased to have Yoshinori Muto with us. We were following him for quite a while.

“Hopefully he can bring us his energy and work-rate and help the team to improve and be better for the new season.”​

Muto – capped 25 times for Japan – started out at hometown club FC Tokyo before moving to Mainz in 2015.

He appeared once for his country at the recent 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia – playing the first 80 minutes of the Samurai Blue’s 1-0 defeat to Poland.

Muto will not be available to make his debut for Newcastle against FC Augsburg on Saturday while he completes the formalities of the visa process.