Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich are in talks to acquire Japanese teen striker Takashi Usami, a bright prospect for Japan's 2014 World Cup campaign, his J-League club Gamba Osaka said on Friday.
"It is true that Bayern Munich have approached us about Usami. But at this stage we have no formal announcement to make. There has been no agreement yet," Gamba spokeswoman Kana Koizumi said.
Japanese media reported Friday that the two sides were working out details of a deal over the 19-year-old Usami, citing a German press report that his transfer money has been set at 1.5 million euros ($2.2 million).
"Nothing is finalised yet but he (Usami) has a clause in his contract to move if a foreign team comes in for him and we can't stop him," Gamba head of team operations Hiroyasu Yamamoto told the Kyodo news agency.
Usami, who made his professional debut with Gamba in 2009, has been called up for his first senior international duty in the Kirin Cup tournament now under way involving hosts Japan, Peru and the Czech Republic.
"I have no comment," Usami told Japanese media on Thursday when asked about the transfer talks. But he added: "If I have a chance, I want to go soon. I'd better move while I am young."
He was kept on the bench by Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni in the scoreless draw with Peru in Niigata on Wednesday. The Blue Samurai, who won a record fourth Asian Cup title in January, will face the Czech Republic in Yokohama on Tuesday.
At the age of 17, Usami scored on his professional debut for Gamba in a 2-1 defeat to FC Seoul in the AFC Champions League in May 2009.
He won the J-League young player of the year award last season when he scored seven goals in 26 league matches.
Usami has scored one goal in six league matches in the current March-December season which was disrupted by the March 11 earthquake-tsunami disaster.
Usami, who has also played for Japan in under-17 and under-20 matches, said he was keen to move to Europe.
"Players based abroad have talked to me a lot about what it is like over there," he told Japanese media at the Kirin Cup training camp. "I can learn from those players, who work in such a tough environment, about technical and mental aspects. I can see how confident they are."