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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.

Torres, 34, left boyhood club Atletico Madrid at the end of the season following the expiration of his contract and made a decision to depart Europe despite several offers to stay within the continent.

The 34-year-old has been linked with Japanese side Sagan Tosu and MLS outfit Chicago Fire with it expected that he will leave Europe for the first time, as confirmed by his father in June when he said: "I am sure it won't be in Europe, it will be a long way away".

He told reporters according to UK Sun that: "We have had proposals from all continents, but my new team will be the Japanese Sagan Tosu".

"I hope to make my debut, at home, on July 21, then to be there for many years".

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"I've had offers from France, Germany, even some options from Spain, but at no time did it go through my head to go to a European team, I wanted a new challenge in a totally different place".

The Spaniard has enjoyed an illustrious 16 years in top-flight football, including spells at Liverpool, Chelsea and in the Serie A with AC Milan.

Embarrassed J. League officials were forced to issue an apology in May after jumping the gun on Sagan's acquisition of the player in a post that was quickly deleted. In 2017, they finished eighth in the division but are in a relegation battle halfway through the current campaign.

Former Spain teammate Andres Iniesta, who joined Vissel Kobe from Barcelona, will also be playing in the J-League and Torres said that meant he would already have a good friend in the competition.

"Asia has always treated me very well".