Soccer: Nakajima addresses speculated departure from Portimonense

©Kyodo News

Japan midfielder Shoya Nakajima on Friday addressed speculation about his impending departure from Portuguese first-division side Portimonense, saying a change of clubs had been on his mind.

The 24-year-old playmaker has been linked with a transfer to English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers during the upcoming winter transfer window.

In a radio interview earlier in the week, Portimonense chairman Rodiney Sampaio said a deal to send Nakajima to Wolves was "80 percent" done.

"Once the transfer window opens, (moving clubs) is something anyone might think about," Nakajima said following Portimonense's 4-1 loss away to Porto.

"From here, I want to grow (as a player) and (enjoy my football)."

After being left out of Japan's World Cup squad, Nakajima has since emerged as an important playmaker for the Samurai Blue as they rebuild around a new generation.

He picked up his fifth assist of the season in the loss to Primeira Liga heavyweights Porto, setting up Vitor Tormena's ninth-minute opener.

The league's player of the month in September, Nakajima has also scored five goals for Portimonense across all competitions this season.

A western Tokyo native, Nakajima initially joined Portimonense on loan from FC Tokyo in August 2017 before completing a full transfer at the start of this year.