Okazaki confirms Stuttgart move
© AFP

Japan striker Shinji Okazaki has confirmed he is poised to join German side Stuttgart from J-League club Shimizu S-Pulse after the AFC Asian Cup.

The 24-year-old will head to Germany following his country's Asian Cup final match against Australia later today and is expected to complete his move to Stuttgart next week.

Okazaki claimed a hat-trick in Japan's 5-0 rout of Saudi Arabia in the Asian Cup group phase and also scored from the spot in the penalty shoot-out win over Korea Republic in the semi-finals.

I wanted to concentrate on the Asian Cup. My agent made sure it stayed that way. I've still got the final to take care of.
Shinji Okazaki, Japan striker

He said he had avoided speculation about his future in order to concentrate on the tournament in Doha. "I wanted to concentrate on the Asian Cup," Okazaki told the Japanese media. "My agent made sure it stayed that way. I've still got the final to take care of.

"I've only scored the three goals in the Saudi game. They turned out to be important goals, but I want to be able to do it on the biggest stage."

Stuttgart are currently second from bottom in the Bundesliga table.