Hiroki Ito will be playing for Bayern Munich in the new season after sealing a switch from VfB Stuttgart. - © DFL
Hiroki Ito will be playing for Bayern Munich in the new season after sealing a switch from VfB Stuttgart. - © DFL

Bayern Munich sign VfB Stuttgart defender Hiroki Ito


Bayern Munich have completed the signing of Japan international defender Hiroki Ito from 2023/24 Bundesliga runners-up VfB Stuttgart.

Ito, who can play in central defence and at left-back, has signed a four-year deal at Bayern through to 30 June 2028.

"It's a great honour for me to be able to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. The Bayern name has a good reputation in Japan. I always gave my all at Stuttgart and am grateful to the club. Now I'm looking forward to the challenge in Munich and want to make my contribution to Bayern winning many titles. It was time to take a new step, and Bayern is the perfect club for me," Ito said of his move.

Ito made 26 Bundesliga appearances in 2023/24, underpinning a surprise Stuttgart package that finished a point ahead of third-placed Bayern in the final standings.

The 25-year-old - who moved to VfB from Júbilo Iwata in summer 2021 - makes the switch to the Allianz Arena with 85 German top-flight games under his belt, as well as 19 senior international caps for Japan.

"Hiroki Ito was reliability personified at VfB Stuttgart. He consistently performed at a top level and caught the eye of some top international clubs. Hiroki is tall, aggressive, has a good left foot, an excellent passing game and is versatile in defence because he can play on the left as well as centrally. He came to Germany as a young player, has really developed, and we're sure that he still has further potential," stated sporting director Christoph Freund.

Ito is Bayern's first signing since Vincent Kompany took over from Thomas Tuchel as head coach. He is set to become only the third Japanese player to represent the record champions, after Takashi Usami (five appearances in 2011/12) and Taichi Fukui (one game in the 2023/24 DFB Cup).

He could make his debut for the club during their pre-season tour to South Korea this summer. Bayern then play their first competitive fixture of 2024/25 in the DFB Cup against Ulm on Friday, 16 August. The Bundesliga season begins the following week. The fixture list will be released on 4 July.