January 14, 2019 / 8:23 AM / 2 months ago

Soccer: Okazaki mulls Leicester exit over lack of game time

(Reuters) - Shinji Okazaki is open to leaving Leicester City due to limited playing time at the Premier League club this season, the Japanese forward has said.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Crystal Palace v Leicester City - Selhurst Park, London, Britain - December 15, 2018 Leicester City's Shinji Okazaki arrives at the ground before the match REUTERS/Hannah McKay/Files

Okazaki has started only one league match this season under manager Claude Puel, who has preferred to play strikers Jamie Vardy and Kelechi Iheanacho instead.

The lack of first team action led to Okazaki’s omission from Japan’s squad for their ongoing Asian Cup campaign in the United Arab Emirates and Okazaki, who has 50 goals for the national team, said he was not satisfied with his current situation.

“After three-and-a-half years, maybe it’s time to move on,” Okazaki, who was left out of Leicester’s squad for Saturday’s defeat by Southampton, told reporters.

“I can’t feel satisfied as a player.”

The 32-year-old’s contract at Leicester ends this season and British media reports said the club had rejected a bid from basement side Huddersfield Town.

Okazaki, who was part of the Leicester team that defied the odds to lift the league title in 2016, said he was hopeful of leaving the club on good terms.

“I have no intention of quarrelling with the team,” Okazaki added. “But I will make my feelings known.

“It’s up to Leicester. Right now, I don’t know whether they need me or not. Of course, (moving to) a team that wants me would be ideal.”

Leicester are currently eighth in the standings and travel to the Molineux Stadium to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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