Japan have confirmed that Arsenal new boy Takuma Asano will be part of their 23-man squad for the Rio Olympics.
Asano, who is set to sign for the Gunners from Sanfrecce Hiroshima once he’s undertaken his medical, will play his final game for his current club on 17 July before meeting up with his fellow Olympians two days later.
Japan are set to play friendlies against Brazilian domestic side Club Sportivo Sergipe on 27 July and Brazil’s under-23 side on 30 July before tackling Group B opponents Nigeria in their opening match of the Rio Games on 4 August.
Japan also play Colombia and Sweden on 7 and 10 August respectively. Asano will join up with Arsenal once his country’s campaign is over. It’s thought he could then be sent out on loan.
Elsewhere, it looks as though Alex Iwobi won’t be heading to Brazil.
Despite being selected in Nigeria’s 35-man provisional squad, coach Samson Siasia says the player and his father have recently stopped answering his calls.
“Alex Iwobi is not coming. I tried to call his father, but he wasn’t picking my calls. He used to call me frequently when he wanted his son to play for the country, but now that we need his son for the Olympics football tournament, he is not picking my calls,” Siasia was quoted as saying by the AfricanFootball website.
“But there is no problem, Alex remains my boy, I love him like my own son, but I am just disappointed that he and his father couldn’t keep the promises they made to me.”
There were rumours last month that Iwobi was worried about losing his place in the Arsenal team should he miss pre-season and the start of the new Premier League campaign.
Tip of the cap to @Ryo_Cleverfish for the heads up.