Tue, Jun 16, 2009 - Page 18 News List

Espanyol one-up Yokohama wage offer for Nakamura

AFP , TOKYO

Espanyol have offered Japanese star Shunsuke Nakamura a bigger wage deal than J-League club Yokohama Marinos, reports said yesterday, as the clubs battle for the signature of the Celtic star.

The Spanish outfit offered Nakamura a two-year deal with an annual wage of 1.2 million euros (US$1.7 million) when they met Nakamura’s agent Roberto Tsukuda in Barcelona on Sunday, the Sankei Sports said.

The wages — ¥165 million a year — compare with the ¥150 million on offer in the two-and-half-year deal on the table from Yokohama, Nakamura’s former club, the daily said.

Espanyol are also ready to extend the contract by a year if Nakamura plays in a fixed number of matches for them, the Sports Nippon said. That number of matches is unknown.

Nakamura, who turns 31 on June 24 and whose contract with the former Scottish champions ends at the end of this month, is expected to choose a new club after Tsukuda returns to Japan tomorrow, the dailies said.

In London on Saturday, the agent also met representatives of Celtic, who want to retain Nakamura, Sankei said.

The left-footed deadball specialist helped the Glasgow side clinch the Scottish Premier League title from 2006 to last year. He moved there in 2005 after three seasons with Italy’s Reggina.

Meanwhile, Yokohama said they were ready to “apologize” for angering Nakamura’s side by seeking unspecified compromises from him that derailed the transfer talks.

Some media reports had said Yokohama lacked “sincerity” in asking Nakamura’s side to compromise on some financial matters and requesting he appear in events before he signed a contract.

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