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Football: Japan's Okazaki joins Mainz from Stuttgart

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bundesliga side Mainz 05 have signed Japan striker Shinji Okazaki from rivals VfB Stuttgart on a three-year deal for an undisclosed amount, his new club have confirmed.

The 27-year-old who scored two goals during Japan's unsuccessful Confederations Cup campaign in Brazil, started only three of his 25 Bundesliga games for Stuttgart last season and has signed a deal with Mainz until 2016.

"He is a skillful player who will be very important for the style of football we play," said Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel of Okazaki, who has made 66 appearances for Japan.

"He is very mindful of the team, is very flexible going forward and is always dangerous in front of goal."

Okazaki's arrival paves the way for Hungary striker Adam Szalai to join Schalke 04, after Mainz manager Christian Heidel confirmed on Monday that they have rejected the first concrete offer from the Royal Blues.

Nevertheless, Tuchel has said he expects the deal "to go through soon".

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130626/football-japans-okazaki-joins-mainz-stuttgart