Japan’s Verdy abandon Totti chase

TOKYO: Japan’s Tokyo Verdy have called off their bid to sign Italian superstar Francesco Totti after his wife turned her nose up at a move to the Far East, local media said on Monday.
“Ultimately he was unable to get his family’s blessing,” Verdy president Hideaki Hanyu told Japan’s Nikkan Sports newspaper, claiming Totti’s celebrity wife Ilary Blasi had been a major factor in the collapse of their ambitious pursuit of the 40-year-old World Cup winner.
“I’m afraid we have no choice but to pull out,” added Hanyu. “I was ready to fly to Italy tomorrow. I’m unhappy with the agent, but this has been a valuable learning experience.”
Totti, who recently made a tearful farewell to Roma after 25 years at his boyhood club, has been linked with Major League Soccer, with Miami FC — coached by Totti’s close friend Alessandro Nesta — among those keen on his signature.
Verdy, once the J-League’s top side but now languishing in Japan’s second tier, launched a surprise bid last month.
“I really wanted to see Totti pull on a Verdy uniform,” said Hanyu. “It would have been exciting. But it’s ended without us even sitting down to meet.” — AFP