MADRID - Former Spain striker Fernando Torres has announced he is joining Japanese top flight side Sagan Tosu as a free agent after leaving Atletico Madrid last month.
"We have had offers from every continent. My new team will be Sagan Tosu of Japan," the 34-year-old Torres said at an event held at the gym he owns in Madrid on Tuesday. "I have had offers from France, Germany and even one from Spain but at no point did I ever think about going to another European team. I wanted a new challenge in a completely different place."
According to reports, Torres also had offers to sign for Australian side Sydney FC and Major League Soccer club Chicago Fire. Torres, who posed for a photo at the event holding a Sagan Tosu shirt alongside club chairman Minoru Takehara, will join the club on an 18-month contract with an option to extend the deal until 2020.
The move was also announced on Sagan Tosu's official website, with the club saying he would be given the number nine shirt, which he has worn for the majority of his career. Torres, who spent the bulk of his career with boyhood club Atletico across two spells, has also played for Liverpool, Chelsea and AC Milan and won the World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.
He said he planned to make his debut for Sagan Tosu on July 22. Sagan Tosu have been in the top division of the J.League since 2012. They finished eighth last season but are mired in a relegation battle halfway through the current campaign.
"Asia has always treated me very well. The sensation that I can return the club to where they should be is another reason why I saw how much confidence they have in me," Torres added. Torres becomes the second high-profile Spaniard to head to Japan in the last few weeks after former Barcelona great Andres Iniesta agreed to join Vissel Kobe in May.