SAINTS have secured a work permit for Japanese striker Tadanari Lee, clearing the way for him to join the club.

The 26-year-old international did not meet the criteria on the initial application, but was approved on appeal today.

Lee, who is currently back in Japan, will finalise his entry clearance papers - which allow him to enter the UK for work purposes - from the British Embassy and return to Southampton as soon as possible to sign his contract with Saints, the club confirmed in a statement issued this evening.

Lee is joining from top-flight J-League side Sanfrecce Hiroshima.