Saturday, 11th June, 2011 

Bayern Munich’s move for young Japanese forward Takashi Usami is inching closer to completion.

Usami, a 19-year-old talent currently plying his trade with Gamba Osaka, is high on the Bavarians’ summer "to-do" list and should move to Munich on an initial one-year loan with the option to buy.

It has also emerged that the German giants have done their homework on the player, pipping Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen in the race.

Japanese football expert and former VfB Stuttgart star Guido Buchwald has admitted speaking to Bayern over Usami, with the Allianz Arena side keen to find out his opinion of the youngster.

And Buchwald, who turned out for Urawa Red Diamonds as a player between 1994 and 1997, before going on to manage the J.League outfit for two years from 2004, had his opinion taken seriously on account of his local knowledge.

"It’s true that Bayern have asked me", said Buchwald, "and I could only tell them good things."

Buchwald also believes that the Bavarians will be snapping up a player not dissimilar to Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, and who can rightfully be ranked as one of Japan’s finest rising stars.

"Usami is one of the best talents in the country.

"He is a guy like Ribery and Robben", although Buchwald admits that because of the player’s tender years he "is not at this high level" yet.

"Usami is a huge talent. He’s fast, two-footed and is a very good dribbler."

Given Buchwald’s glowing endorsement, it is no surprise to see the Germans working overtime to close the deal, having already come to an agreement with Usami himself.

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