Groningen knock back Man City offer for Japan midfielder

Joe Williams

Manchester City have failed in their attempts to buy a stake in Groningen attacking midfielder Ritsu Doan, according to a member of the Eredivisie club’s hierarchy.

The Japan under-20 international’s move to the Dutch side from Gamba Osaka was made permanent this week after impressing in a loan spell at the club.

Doan has contributed eight goals and three assists in this campaign with Groningen, who currently occupy a mid-table position in the top-flight.

Ron Jans, Groningen’s technical director, has confirmed that Man City wanted to enter a part-ownership agreement in an attempt to ease the financial burden of the transfer, which represents a big deal for the Dutch side.

The Premier League side were ready to stump up €2 million but Groningen were keen to own the player outright.

“Now we have everything in our own hands,” Jans told the De Telegraaf.

“We said that we really liked it that they offered it, but we’re doing it on our own. The connection with City is very positive.”

Doan has signed a contract until 2021 at the Eredivisie outfit and Jans is looking forward to seeing him progress in the Netherlands.

“It is incredible to be able to adapt and develop so quickly at such a young age in a completely different culture,” Jans said after Doan signed.

“He has grown during the season and has become increasingly important for the team. A big compliment for the boy.”