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HomeWorld newsBayern Munich signs Japanese defender Hiroki Ito until 2028

Bayern Munich signs Japanese defender Hiroki Ito until 2028

Bayern Munich on Thursday announced the signing of Japanese central defender Hiroki Ito from Stuttgart until 2028 after he reportedly activated his €30 million release clause.

Ito, 25, is a surprise signing for Bayern and the club’s first big signing of the transfer window. He signed for Stuttgart from J. League side Jubilo Iwata just two seasons ago, after a year on loan in Germany, for less than €1 million.

“It is a great honor for me to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world,” Ito said in a prepared statement.

“I want to contribute to winning many trophies at FC Bayern.”

Normally deployed in central defense, the left-footed Ito can also play as a left back or in defensive midfield.

Ito made 97 appearances in two seasons with Stuttgart, scoring twice.

“Hiroki has everything we want: he is a player who embraces challenges, overcomes them and continues to find his way,” Bayern sporting director Max Eberl said.

“Hiroki is tall, aggressive, has a strong left foot, has excellent passing skills and is defensively versatile as he can play on the left or centrally.

“He will really strengthen us straight away.”

Ito was a key factor in Stuttgart’s stunning turnaround last season, rising from relegation candidate to a place in the Champions League.

Sebastian Hoeness’ side finished second behind champions Bayer Leverkusen – one place above Bayern, who missed out on a trophy for the first time in twelve seasons.

Ito made his debut for Japan in 2022 and has since made 19 appearances, scoring one goal.

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