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Gamba claim Bayern chasing Usami

Bayern Munich are in talks with Gamba Osaka over the signing of teenage sensation Takashi Usami, according to the J-League side.

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Usami, 19, is one of Japan's most promising young players and his performances for last season's J-Lague runners up Gamba have alerted the attention of some of Europe's biggest sides.

Bayern first expressed their interest in Usami during the January transfer window, when former boss Louis van Gaal revealed they had contacted his club to try to organise a trial.

And now the Bavarians appear set to press ahead with securing Usami's signature for a fee reported in the German press to be in the region of €1.5 million.

"It is true that Bayern Munich have approached us about Usami. But at this stage we have no formal announcement to make. There has been no agreement yet," Gamba spokeswoman Kana Koizumi told AFP.

Gamba head of team operations Hiroyasu Yamamoto added: "Nothing is finalised yet but he (Usami) has a clause in his contract to move if a foreign team comes in for him and we can't stop him."

Usami has represented Japan at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-22 level and is expected to make his full debut for the Blue Samurai in the Kirin Cup tournament - involving Peru and the Czech Republic - which is currently taking place.

Bayern will be hoping Usami can follow in the footsteps of other Japanese exports to the Bundesliga; the likes of Wolfsburg's Makoto Hasebe, Schalke's Atsuto Uchida and particularly Borussia Dortmund's Shinji Kagawa - who played a crucial role in the club's domestic title triumph in 2010-11 - have all enjoyed trememdous success in Germany.

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