S.League top scorer Sano bound for Japanese second division?
In a season where Albirex Niigata completed a quadruple in domestic football for the second year running, the 23-year-old struck 31 times in all competitions and pipped Home United’s Stipe Plazibat to the S.League Golden Boot with 26 goals.
The Albirex no. 9 was prolific for the White Swans this term, managing a five-goal haul in their 8-0 thumping of the Garena Young Lions while hitting four past nine-time S.League champions Warriors FC in a 5-1 win.
The 23-year-old struck 30 times in all competitions and pipped Home United’s Stipe Plazibat to the S.League Golden Boot.
Sano's goalscoring exploits have not gone unnoticed however, with an unnamed J2 side believed to have swooped for his services for next year.
When contacted by FourFourTwo, an Albirex spokesperson declined comment on the matter.
The departure of the Juntendo University graduate - who had earlier attracted the interest of S.League side Home United - will undoubtedly leave head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga with a huge void to fill upfront.
The likes of S.League player of the year Kento Nagasaki and skipper Shuto Inaba are also likely to leave for greener pastures. However, Albirex have announced that goalkeeper Yosuke Nozawa and forward Hiroyoshi Kamata have penned new deals with the club.