Soccer: Kashima defender Machida set for loan move to Saint-Gilloise

© Kyodo News

Kashima Antlers defender Koki Machida is set for a loan move to Belgium top-flight leaders Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, sources close to the matter said Monday.

The 24-year-old, left-footed center-back played in 34 J-League top-flight games this season and scored five goals.

Machida came through the ranks at Kashima before being promoted to their top team in 2016, and has been a mainstay since 2019.

Japan winger Kaoru Mitoma is also on a loan deal at Saint-Gilloise from English Premier League side Brighton.

Saint-Gilloise only got promoted this season but lead the league on 47 points after 21 games, seven ahead of second-place Club Brugge.