Borussia Dortmund have played down speculation of an imminent move for Shinji Kagawa after the Manchester United midfielder told Japanese television he would welcome a future return to the Westfalenstadion.
At the weekend, Kagawa, 24, told Japanese TV show Foot Brain: “One day I will return, if Dortmund agree to it.”
The Japan international, who left Dortmund in 2012 to sign a four-year deal at Old Trafford, again underlined the fact he had not been happy with the way his first season at United had shaped out, having scored six goals for the Red Devils.
“A lot of things were on my mind,” he said. “I am not at all satisfied with my performance. I did not score as many goals as I wanted and, moreover, I was injured. Other than the fact that we won the championship I cannot feel like I achieved everything I wanted to achieve. For me personally, it was not a good season.”
Kagawa’s statements were published in Germany on Monday and left Borussia Dortmund fans dreaming he could return this summer. During his two years with BVB, Kagawa scored 21 goals in 49 games and set up a further 12, forming a potent partnership with striker Robert Lewandowski.
The Japanese playmaker has not been forgotten in Dortmund during the past year. In May, coach Jurgen Klopp had claimed United played Kagawa out of position, telling The Guardian: “My heart breaks.”
However, it appears Kagawa will continue at United for now. Questioned about the chances of a return, Dortmund CEO Aki Watzke told Bild: “The door will always be open for Shinji, but currently that is not an issue.”
The midfielder’s agent, Thomas Kroth, added in Bild: “At this time, I’d like to think that Shinji will stay in Manchester, but everything is possible in football.”
Korth also told Ruhr Nachrichten: "Kagawa wants to triumph at Manchester. Currently that [a return] is not an option."
David Moyes, the new United manager, has also recently stressed that Kagawa is part of his plans.
"I know a little about him as a player," he said. "Sir Alex spoke in glowing terms about Shinji and how good a player he is. It was his first season in the Premier League last year. He's a young player so we hope his development continues. I look forward to working with him and hopefully he has a really good season coming up."
Kagawa, too, told the media that he did not regret moving to England despite Dortmund reaching the Champions League final last season.
"I was proud to see my former team play in the Champions League final, and I was very excited for them - but it didn't make me feel I had made the wrong choice," he said. "In fact it made me feel stronger because I want to be on the same field in future."