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Saturday, 17 August, 2002, 10:09 GMT 11:09 UK
Charlton 'swoop for Alex'
Japan midfielder Alex
Alex helped Japan to the World Cup second round
Japan midfielder Alex is poised to complete a surprise move to Charlton Athletic, according to reports.

Several Japanese newspapers claimed that Alex's J-League club Shimizu S-Pulse had been approached by the Premiership side.

Charlton boss Alan Curbishley is believed to have been monitoring the 25-year-old's progress since he starred for Japan in the World Cup.

"There has been no formal offer to date but things could happen very quickly," the Sports Hochi newspaper quoted an S-Pulse spokesman as saying.

Brazilian-born Alex, who switched nationalities in November 2001, has also attracted interest from Italian club Lazio and Portuguese side Porto.

But Charlton seem set to make an offer for Alex before the 31 August transfer deadline and S-Pulse are reportedly planning to send an official to London for talks next week.

Alex, the J-League Player of the Year in 1999, has made no secret of his desire to play in Europe.

Japan's World Cup star Junichi Inamoto joined Charlton's London rivals Fulham last month after a frustrating year in the reserves at Arsenal.

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