Newcastle complete Yoshinori Muto signing from Mainz

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Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Newcastle United have completed the signing of Yoshinori Muto from Mainz after the Japan international was granted a work permit.

The deal, which sees Muto move to St James Park on a four-year deal, had been earlier announced but was subject to the player being granted a Governing Body Endorsement (work permit).

However, that has now been secured with Newcastle confirming the move on Thursday.

Muto is Newcastle’s fifth signing of the summer and the second Asian star to join the Magpies, following in the footsteps of Korea Republic captain Ki Sung-yueng.

“I am very happy to be a player for Newcastle United,” said Muto, on the club’s official website.

“I am really looking forward to playing in front of the fans.

“As the first Japanese Newcastle United player, I am honoured to be a player for such a big club.

“I hope to achieve good results – that is what I’m here to do.

“I would like to perform well and leave my name in Newcastle’s history.”

Muto, who departs Mainz with 20 goals in 66 Bundesliga matches to his name, received a ringing endorsement from new manager Rafa Benitez upon his arrival.

“I am really pleased to have Yoshinori Muto with us,” said the Spanish tactician. “We were following him for quite a while.

“Hopefully he can bring us his energy and work-rate and help the team to improve and be better for the new season.”

Still only 26, Muto already has 25 caps for his country and was part of the Japan squad that recently reached the Round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.