Well that escalated quickly.
Chelsea have made a bid for FC Tokyo midfielder Yoshinori Muto, according to the Japanese club's president.
Goal's report cites Sports Nippon, and they cite the leadership of Muto's current club, FC Tokyo. Presumably the quotes aren't made up, though the transfer fee itself is still just a rumor.
"It is true that Chelsea sent us an offer for Muto. It is a formal offer with conditions. They want to acquire him in the summer"
That timeline matches previous reports. Apparently we've been tracking the player for about a year now, too. The numbers involved -- ¥700m, which is roughly £4m -- would also fit the previous claims of this being a record transfer fee for a J.League-based player, currently held by Shinji Ono's ¥400m -- around $3.75m in 2001 moneys -- transfer to Feyenoord.
With the rumored transfer fee well below the £10m threshold for automatic work permits, Muto would most likely end up in the Eredivisie as well while he builds up his international résumé with the Japanese national team.
For his part, the 22-year-old hasn't decided yet.
"I have not decided yet at all. It is an honour for me to receive this offer from a great club."
A tough call for the budding star, to be sure. Can he resist the temptation? I'm sure we'll hear of a decision sooner rather than later.
* Thanks to @___Dax___ for the link.