TOKYO - FC Tokyo are eyeing an ambitious swoop on Barcelona and Spain great Xavi Hernandez, joining a list of suitors thought to include Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
The Japanese outfit has begun making overtures to the World Cup-winning midfielder via intermediaries, the Nikkan sports said.
FC Tokyo, currently seventh in the 18-team J-League first division, have yet to make an official offer for 34-year-old Xavi, with a team official telling the daily that no formal decision has been made.
The newspaper said money remained a huge question, with deep-pocketed European and Middle Eastern clubs also reportedly interested in Xavi, who last month broke the record for the most appearances in the Champions League.
Xavi has already been linked with possible moves to the Premier League and the Bundesliga. There have reportedly been offers from Qatar as well as Manchester City, believed to be in connection to its US franchise New York City FC.
The rumour mill began swirling when Xavi hinted earlier this year he might leave Barcelona, where a glittering career has included three Champions League titles.
He has spent much of this season at Barca playing a bit-part role under new boss Luis Enrique.
Although it struggles to retain its home-grown stars, who head to Europe at the first opportunity, the J-League has form in attracting big-name foreign players in the twilight of their careers.
It currently features Uruguay striker Diego Forlan, the most valuable player in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Others have included legends such as Zico and Dunga of Brazil, Gary Lineker of England and Sweden's Fredrik Ljungberg.