Japan's Kagawa heads to Manchester United

10 July 2012
Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa on Tuesday left his home country for Britain to join Manchester United
Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa at the Kansai international airport in Osaka for his flight to London on July 10. Kagawa has vowed to secure a starting slot when the Premier League season kicks off in August

Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa on Tuesday left his home country for Britain to join Manchester United, vowing to secure a starting slot when the Premier League season kicks off in August.

"It is a big challenge for me. I have nothing but a positive mind now," the 23-year-old told reporters ahead of his departure on a flight from Osaka in western Japan.

"I want to fight with confidence," he added.

Kagawa, on a four-year deal from German champions Borussia Dortmund, is to attend a team practice and hold a news conference in Britain on Thursday.

Kagawa, having been ruled out of the Olympic football tournament in London, is set to feature in United's pre-season tour of South Africa and China.

"First, I want to display what I have at the training camp and prepare myself so that I can firmly gain a position in time for the opening game," Kagawa said.

The Japanese player's arrival is expected to be a boost for United, who were within minutes of retaining their Premier League title last season until a late winner on the final day for Manchester City in a 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers saw their cross-town rivals crowned champions instead.

Kagawa helped Dortmund land successive German titles and scored 17 goals as they completed a domestic double last season.