Dundee United to sign Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport
Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima
Eiji Kawashima has 72 Japan caps

Dundee United have applied for a work permit to sign Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

The 32-year-old has been without a club since being released by Standard Liege in the summer.

Kawashima, who has been capped 72 times for his country, attended the weekend game at Tannadice as United defeated Ross County 1-0.

But United are unlikely to receive a permit in time for him to feature against Aberdeen on Saturday.

The Tannadice club lost last season's first choice, Radoslaw Ciernziak, to Wisla Krakow in the close season.

Luis Zwick, the 21-year-old previously of German fifth tier outfit Hertha 03 Zehlendorf, had been preferred this term until Jackie McNamara was sacked as manager.

However, following a 5-0 defeat away to reigning champions Celtic in his second game in charge, new boss Mixu Paatelainen promoted 22-year-old Michal Szromnik from the bench.

Dundee United's Michal Szromnik in action against Ross County
Michal Szromnik kept a clean sheet for Dundee United against Ross County

Szromnik, who also arrived at Tannadice last year and was previously with Arka Gdynia in Poland's second tier, kept a clean sheet against County as Paatelainen secured his first win as United boss.

The Finn's side, though, remain at the foot of the Scottish Premiership, two points behind Partick Thistle and a further four adrift of Motherwell and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

And Paatelainen appears to be seeking more experience in that key position.

Kawashima played for Omiya Ardija and Nagoya Grampus Eight in his homeland before being transferred to Kawasaki Frontale for 150 million yen, which was a J-League record at the time.

He moved to Lierse in the Belgian top flight in 2010 and, two years later, switched to Pro League rivals Liege.

However, Kawashima left in the summer in search of first-team football after losing his place to former Monaco, Troyes and Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Yohann Thuram-Ulien.

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