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By ESPN Staff

Lucas Neill set to join J-League club

Socceroos skipper Lucas Neill looks set to be unveiled on Friday as the new defender at J-League club Omiya Ardija.

Neill is expected to arrive in Japan on Thursday to meet the club and sign a four-month deal for the remainder of the season, pending the outcome of a medical test on Friday.

An official from the club told Japanese newspaper Nikkan that they intend on concluding a deal for Neill before the weekend.

"Neill is free so we don't have to worry about the J-League transfer deadline on the 16th (of August)," the club official said.

"But we'd like to get the deal done as soon as possible."

The 35-year-old has been without a club since his 10-game stint with A-League side Sydney FC was cut short by injury last season.

Neill played just three games with the Sky Blues, his last a 1-1 draw with Western Sydney in late March.

He led the Socceroos to another World Cup finals appearance in June and it was his stellar performance in Australia's 1-1 draw with Japan in Saitama that looks to have turned heads in the J-League.

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck last month sent a clear message to the captain his spot in the squad was in jeopardy should he not shore up a deal soon.

Osieck revealed the veteran had not been considered for the recent East Asian Cup squad because he was in the United States negotiating with two Major League Soccer franchises, from which no deal transpired.

The deal with Omiya Ardija, however, only looks set to take him through to December, leaving Neill possibly in limbo again just months out from the World Cup in June.

Omiya are fourth in Japan's top flight but have lost their past five games and have caretaker Takeyuki Okamoto in charge after coach Zdenko Verdenik was sacked over the weekend.


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