'Alien' Morimoto finds new home at Novara

TOKYO - Japan striker Takayuki Morimoto has joined newly-promoted Novara from Italian Serie A rivals Catania, Japanese media reported on Tuesday.

"Calcio Catania have sold Takayuki Morimoto to Novara Calcio on a co-ownership deal," Kyodo news agency quoted a statement from Catania as saying.

The shaven-headed 23-year-old, dubbed "Alien" by his international team-mates, had been at Catania since 2006 after moving from Tokyo Verdy.

However, Morimoto, the youngest player to score in Japan's J-League at 15, had asked for a quick transfer after appearing in just 12 games last season.

His star plummeted within months of being tipped as Japan's top strike weapon after scoring twice in their 2-1 win over Guatemala.

A crisis of confidence followed as he was left out in the cold by Catania and lost his Japan place as a result.