Tatsunori Hara said Wednesday he is looking favorably at an offer from the Yomiuri Giants to return for a third stint as manager of the Central League club.

"I told the team I will think about it positively," Hara said following a meeting with Yomiuri owner Toshikazu Yamaguchi.

(Tatsunori Hara)

Yamaguchi revealed the same day that the club had made a formal offer for Hara to take over once current manager Yoshinobu Takahashi steps down at the end of the season.

Hara, 60, ended his second go-round as manager of the Tokyo-based Central League club when Takahashi took the reins in 2016. Hara's 12-year tenure over the 2002-2003 and 2006-2015 seasons included seven CL pennants and three Japan Series titles.

He also led the Japanese national team to victory in the World Baseball Classic in 2009.

(Hara is tossed into the air after the Giants won the Japan Series title in 2012)

Takahashi, 43, last week said he would quit after failing to win the Central League pennant during his three years in charge.

The Giants this year finished in third place in the league, qualifying for this year's CL Climax Series. The club finished second in 2016 and fourth last year.