Shinji Kagawa is set to end his Manchester United disappointment by rejoining Borussia Dortmund, the side he left for Old Trafford in 2012.
The Japanese star has suffered with injuries and poor form since moving to England, where he has never managed to be more than a rotational player.
It is claimed by Der Westen that personal terms have now been agreed between Kagawa and Dortmund, per Daniel Busch of WhoScored.com:
Dortmund have agreed personal terms with Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa, according to Der Westen. Watzke in talks with United now.— Daniel Busch (@dan_bu) August 29, 2014
Sky Italia's Gianluca Di Marzio believes the two clubs are "negotiating a permanent deal," while Bundesliga specialist Clark Whitney provides further detail on a transfer that could see United recoup most of their money for the 25-year-old:
DerWesten: Kagawa & BVB agree to contract. SkyItaly: BVB in advanced talks w/ MUFC over €10m (+poss €2.5m bonus) fee. MUFC paid €17m for him— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) August 29, 2014
Louis van Gaal recently admitted he is looking for wholesale changes before the transfer-window deadline arrives at midnight on Monday, per David McDonnell of the Mirror:
"I had a conversation after lunch with the players and I said, maybe after this weekend we shall have another group because players shall go away and others shall come in," said Van Gaal.
Kagawa has rarely shown his full range of talents at United and struggled to fit in from the off. Despite ripping through defences in Germany with his excellent touch, vision and creativity, his confidence has often appeared stunted in a red shirt.
It doesn't help that the player has been forced to start from the left wing in many matches. Even so, Kagawa has received plenty of opportunities in the No. 10 spot, but he has rarely delivered. He couldn't follow his hat-trick against Norwich in 2013 with a run of excellent form and has struggled to assert himself under Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes and now Louis van Gaal.
Moyes' decision to sign Juan Mata in January all but ended Kagawa's chances of ever holding down a first-team place. Despite many suggesting the Spaniard is yet to hit top form for the Red Devils, he has outshone Kagawa with a consistent run of goals, per OptaJoe:
7 - Juan Mata has now scored seven goals in his last eight Premier League appearances. Reliable.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 24, 2014
It seems Kagawa's last chance to impress Van Gaal was against MK Dons, a match he barely impacted before being substituted with concussion, per Mark Froggatt of United's official website. Kagawa hardly had a touch before exiting early in the tie United would go on to lose 4-0.
Although unfortunate, defeat to the League One side could round off a tenure in which he has rarely threatened to produce his form of old.
Should Shinji Kagawa be sold?
Kagawa continues to offer United a major commercial plus in the Asian market and is among the Premier League's top shirt sellers due to his Japanese following. United will be cutting into their revenue by offloading the player but may use the funds to tighten their midfield options.
Angel Di Maria's recent signing has already seen the club shop run out of letters, per Grant Miles of the Daily Mail, indicating the potential hit could be balanced.
It will be interesting to see how Kagawa's form develops if he returns to the Westfalenstadion. Jurgen Klopp is an admirer of the player and will hope to replicate the duo of Bundesliga title wins and DFB-Pokal triumph Kagawa was a part of in Germany. The motivational manager will likely provide Kagawa with a starring role through the centre upon his re-signing.
The intelligent midfielder has played himself into a corner at United. While many believe Kagawa deserves a greater shot in the first team, his form has rarely deserved anything more than a bit-part role.
At the start of his third season with the club, he's no closer to breaking through on a permanent basis. He hasn't proved himself a key member of the squad as of yet, so it's unlikely to happen in the future.
His sale will allow Van Gaal to further stamp his influence over the struggling side and will free up a space in the squad for another player.
Although disappointing—Kagawa could have been a star in Manchester—such a deal would be beneficial for all involved.