Mallorca may loan Ienaga to second tier

MADRID, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Real Mallorca may loan Akihiro Ienaga to a Spanish second-division side and there is also interest from Germany and the Netherlands in borrowing the Japanese midfielder, the La Liga club said on Thursday.

Mallorca this month signed Ienaga on a contract until 2015 and the 24-year-old must initially go out on loan because the club have already filled their quota of three non-European Union players in their squad.

Vice president Lorenzo Serra Ferrer told a news conference at the player's presentation, attended by around 60 journalists including some 30 Japanese, that the club had had several offers.

"There is also a possibility that we will loan him to a top second-division team, not because we don't have faith in the quality of the player but because it is not in our interest to strengthen our rivals (in the first division)," he said.

"As well as the Spanish league, there is also interest from Netherlands and Germany," he added. "We'll see at the right time, there is nothing decided."

Ienaga has played with J-League sides Gamba Osaka and Oita Trinita and scored four goals in 31 appearances for Cerezo Osaka this year.

He is the second Japanese player to join Mallorca, following in the footsteps of Yoshito Okubo who played at the Balearic Island club between 2005 and 2007.

"My first choice would be to play for Mallorca but I have confidence in the club and in Lorenzo and I won't worry too much about the decisions," Ienaga said. "I will work."