Tulio agrees to join Grampus

TOKYO - Japan defender Tulio has agreed to join Nagoya Grampus after meeting with manager Dragan Stojkovic, the J-League club's general manager said on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old had fallen out with senior officals at Urawa Reds this season and chose Nagoya over offers from Europe and the Middle East, Kazumasa Kume told Japanese media.

"He met the manager Stojkovic and was told: 'There's a World Cup next year so you should play in Japan' - and that might have helped him decide," said Kume. "We expect much from him."

Relations between Tulio and Reds officials soured after he publicly criticised the club's transfer policy following the sale of fellow Brazilian-born player Alex to Nagoya in August.

He frequently clashed with officials at the club and had become embroiled in finger-pointing rows with Urawa fans following games after going to complain about them jeering Reds players.

The outspoken Tulio spent six seasons at Urawa, Japan's best-supported club, helping them win their first J-League title in 2006 and the Asian Champions League in 2007.

He will also be expected to start in Japan's back line at next year's World Cup in South Africa.