Honda has been linked with a move to Anfield several times over the past three years, and according to one report yesterday, Liverpool want to 'thrash out a pre-contract deal' with the attacker over a summer switch to Anfield', and the club plans to 'sound out Honda for talks in the next few weeks'.
Speaking to reporters this week, CSKA Director Roman Babaev conceded that the Japanese maestro is on his way out of the club. He confessed:
"We tried to get him [Honda] to extend his contract, but we can’t force him. It is up to him what happens next"
After losing out on the move to Lazio in January 2012, Honda - nicknamed 'Keizer Keisuke' (Emperor Keisuke) during his time in Holland, made clear his disappointment at the collpase of the deal. He told reporters:
"If moaning about it would get me a move I would have a moan. I waited until the end of the transfer window and I could have gone to the Italian championship. I was hoping for a better future"
CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky recently complained publicly about the Japan International's 'anonymous' performances and lack of form. He told the Russian Press:
"Honda can decide the result of a match on his own, but unfortunately games like that with a performance from him haven’t happened. Today we expected a certain contribution from him, but it never came"
€12m-rated Honda may be out of form but he's still managed to score 9 goals in 20 games for CSKA this season, which is a creditable return for a player whose heart is clearly not with CSKA anymore.
Arsene Wenger is a huge fan of Honda, and he lavished praised on the player after the 2010 World Cup. He raved:
"When they get the ball they can give it to Honda – and the magic starts. When they get that genius Honda playing up front, he had shown what a top class player he is. For me he’s the best performer of the competition so far"
It's clear that Honda needs to a new challenge to reinvigorate his career, but would he be a good fit for Liverpool?
With 29 goals in his last 101 games, he is hardly prolific, and there are other attacking midfielders out there with a much better creative return for a similar amount of money.
Having said that, I would love to see Honda at Anfield - he's an experienced flair player, and Liverpool can always use more of them. Plus, he'd be available on a free.
Worth a bid?