Espanyol trump Yokohama wage offer for Nakamura

16th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

Espanyol have offered Japanese star Shunsuke Nakamura a bigger wage deal than J-League club Yokohama Marinos.

Tokyo – Espanyol have offered Japanese star Shunsuke Nakamura a bigger wage deal than J-League club Yokohama Marinos, reports said Monday, 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 EUR 1.2 million (USD 1.7 million) when they met Nakamura's agent Roberto Tsukuda in Barcelona on Sunday, the Sankei Sports said.

The wages, worth 165 million yen a year, compare with the 150 million yen 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 24 June 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 here on Wednesday, 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 2008. He moved there in 2005 after three seasons with Italy's Reggina.

Meanwhile, Yokohama said they were ready to "apologise" for angering Nakamura's side by seeking unspecified compromises from him which derailed the transfer talks.

"We did not intend to do so but it is true that we caused them to mistrust us," Yokohama president Masaharu Saito told reporters on Sunday, according to sports dailies. "We want to apologise for what we have to apologise for and we want to return to the negotiating table."

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

Playing in the top Spanish league has been Nakamura's long-cherished dream.

But in recent years he has stated his desire to return to the J-League to avoid the rigours of travelling long distances for international duty and raise his two children in Japan.

AFP / Expatica

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