Shinji Kagawa: Borussia Dortmund Ace May Be Manchester United Star Next Season

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Shinji Kagawa: Borussia Dortmund Ace May Be Manchester United Star Next Season
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Shinji Kagawa Looks Set to Snub Extended Borussia Dortmund Stay For Manchester United Move

Shinji Kagawa—after informing Borussia Dortmund he won't sign a new contract—will most likely be a Manchester United player next season.

The 23-year-old former Cerezo Osaka star—whose contract runs out in June of 2013—was offered a new four-year deal, but turned it down, according to Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc, who admitted that while money isn't a priority, the club have no choice but to sell the playmaker.

Zorc said:

As of today he is not willing to extend his contract. While there is no economic need to sell him, he has a certain market value so we have to follow this with an economic sense.

We will continue to have dialogue, but if another club expresses an interest then we will listen.

It's no secret the Red Devils have long been looking for a creative midfield player who can score goals—and with Paul Scholes not sticking around forever, this summer will undoubtedly see the Old Trafford outfit dip into the transfer market for a marquee midfielder.

And that big-name signing looks set to be Shinji Kagawa, who has been linked with United since January 2011 and could've even joined the Manchester club just six months after moving to Germany.

After news broke out that the Japan international—who has nine goals in 29 caps for his country—failed to sign a new contract with Dortmund, speculation on his next club immediately turned to Manchester United, with it being reported that the player has his heart set on a move to the Red Devils.

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Chelsea were also said to be in the running for Kagawa, but speculation over a move to Stamford Bridge has died down since the Blues signed Marko Marin from Werder Bremen.

A move to the Premier League certainly beckons for the Japanese player, especially after Zorc also revealed Kagawa's career plan:

I last week held talks with Shinji and his advisers. He has a specific career plan and that involves playing in England. It must be accepted, but it is not good [for the club].

Shinji Kagawa and Manchester United have been linked together virtually since the central midfielder first arrived in Europe, and with no other club realistically mentioned to be in the chase for the player's signature, a transfer to Manchester is almost certain to be on the cards.

After all, Kagawa is perfect for the Red Devils in almost every way.

There's the obvious allure of marketing potential the Japanese star provides, given the fact he's a major celebrity in his home country.

That's something United will want to tap into just like they have done with Park Ji-Sung, who has made tens of millions for the club across Far East Asia.

With a player like Kagawa on board, the Red Devils could take their long-running Asian commercial plan to the next level.

And, of course, there's also the influence he has on the pitch.

In all competitions this season, Kagawa has scored 16 goals and made 12 assists from 41 games, contributing a goal to his team at a rate of 0.68 goals per game.

Considering goals from central midfield has been a big problem for United this season, a tally like that could be the ideal solution. 

On top of his goals, Kagawa creates on average a further two goalscoring chances each match for a teammate, and his pass-completion rate is 82.8 percent.

All of this is quite remarkable for a trequartista and a player who's closed down by the opposition the most (barring the striker, of course).

Given what Kagawa contributes to his team, it's no surprise all the reports are saying Sir Alex Ferguson will try to sign the player.

Rated at £15 million, the Borussia Dortmund ace is within United's price range, meaning if the Bundesliga champions don't hold out for a ridiculous amount, an agreed fee between the two clubs for the star is a big possibility.

And as far as personal terms go, if reports are to believed, the chance to play for a club as massive as United, combined with a £95,000-a-week salary—four times what the player currently earns—could be too good to turn down.

All the signs at the moment point to Shinji Kagawa moving to Manchester United this summer.

It's a very logical transfer, and as we all start to dot the dots on this unravelling picture, it's slowly starting to become one of the worst-kept secrets in football.

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