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Borussia Dortmund "agree terms" with United playmaker

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The Japanese playmaker may soon be returning to the club with which he made his name.

Michael Regan

Sell them! Sell them all! The latest victim of Louis van Gaal's purge of United's flabby squad is, reportedly, Shinji Kagawa. According to German news paper Der Westen, the Japanese playmaker has already agreed terms for a return to Borussia Dortmund.

Kagawa's departure has looked inevitable ever since Van Gaal made it clear he "could not fulfil my wishes" in central midfield. Already behind Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, Angel di Maria and maybe Adnan Januzaj in the queue for the No. 10 position, such a pronouncement left Kagawa with no real role in the squad. His early withdrawal against MK Dons with blurred vision looks to have marked his last contribution for the club; in his 56 appearances he scored just six goals.

The two clubs are yet to agree a fee, of course, so things could yet get sticky. Certainly, United will have to accept less than the €17m they paid two years ago. For all that he was brilliant in Germany, Kagawa has never truly convinced in any of the roles he's been asked to play for United. While there are those that will swear blind that he was simply waiting to be dropped into his right position, that's three managers in a row who have looked at him in training and thought 'I'll build my side around somebody else'.

"The door for Kagawa is always open," said BVB manager Jurgen Klopp a year ago, and now it looks like he's on the way through it. And perhaps that's the answer to the question that has plagued United fans for years. Perhaps his best position is: in Dortmund.