Ljungberg to leave Shimizu S-Pulse

Former Sweden and Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg is to leave Japan's Shimizu S-Pulse by mutual consent, according to a statement from the player.

"Despite my feelings about Japan and my great respect for team-mates and coaching staff in the S-Pulse, I feel that this is not the right project for me," Ljungberg said in the statement.

"I want to be clear that all at S-Pulse have been fantastic to me. I cannot thank them enough for everything they did for me during my time in the club."

Ljungberg, 34, had been linked with several clubs during the recent transfer window, including some in England, according to his representative Walid Bouzid, but felt none of them were suitable.

"It was not the right English clubs. French and Scandinavian clubs also showed interest," Bouzid said, adding: "He wants to play in a club battling for league titles, but he also wants his final project to give him a chance to give something back to society."

Capped 75 times, Ljungberg started his career at Halmstads BK in his native Sweden, before moving to England and making his name with Arsenal.

He went on to represent fellow London club West Ham United before a sojourn in North America's Major League Soccer (MLS) with the Seattle Sounders and the Chicago Fire.

He returned to Europe, playing a handful of games for Celtic in Scotland before his move to Japan last September.