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Official: Keisuke Honda signs with Pachuca

Well, that was unexpected!

AC Milan v Empoli FC - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Keisuke Honda is officially staying in North America for his next club stop. But it’s not the country you were likely expecting.

The Japanese international confirmed on his Twitter account on Friday that he has signed for Liga MX side CF Pachuca. He signed on a free to a deal of undisclosed length.

It’s a fascinating turn of events, with the signing appearing to catch everybody, including the Mexican press, off guard. Honda will be joining the reigning CONCACAF Champions League title holders, who will go play at the Club World Cup in December.

On the face of it, this would appear to end the rumors linking Honda to MLS expansion side Los Angeles Football Club. After Honda trained with LAFC’s USL affiliate Orange County SC last week, speculation ramped up that the former Milan midfielder would next play in MLS, with LAFC being a logical connection in transfer rumors.

And in the end, we may find out this is a multi-year deal (like most contracts) and Honda will not be joining LAFC for the 2018 season. However...there is a very small chance he’s signed a six-month deal, to play through the Club World Cup, and could be available to LAFC again in time for their opening season. The Mexican split season format does allow for that flexibility. I would say for the moment that scenario is possible, if not especially likely.

So, if that’s the case, cross another big-name LAFC transfer target off your list. Onto the next one.

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