Kawaguchi receiving home interest

PORTSMOUTH'S Japanese international goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi has received interest from his homeland with J-League side Cerezo Osaka.

The 27-year-old has seen little action since his club record £1.8 million move from Yokohama F-Marinos in October 2001, with Pompey prepared to let the custodian move on a free transfer.

Despite such a difficult spell at Fratton Park, Kawaguchi has expressed his determination to continue playing in England and is looking forward to challenging Shaka Hislop for the number one jersey next season in The Premiership.

But with manager Harry Redknapp eyeing up another goalkeeper to boost his squad next term, Kawaguchi may find opportunities of first team football on the South Coast to be remote.

The answer may be in a return to Japan, with Cerezo Osaka director Akira Okura revealing that Kawaguchi would be a great influence on the club's young custodians and stop the flow of goals conceded by the club in the J-League this season.

"If we had someone like Kawaguchi in goal, it would also be an invaluable learning experience for our younger keepers," said Okura.

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