Celtic insist Nakamura will stay

Celtic insist Nakamura will stay

Celtic have ruled out selling Shunsuke Nakamura after Italian side Bologna were linked with a move for the playmaker.

The Scottish champions insist Nakamura remains an integral part of their plans for the coming season, which will be his fourth at the club.

Bologna club president Alfredo Cazzola was reported to have launched a bid for Nakamura, however Celtic tonight stressed they have not received an offer and would not encourage any interest from the Serie A outfit.

A spokesman for the club said there had been no contact between Celtic and Bologna.

Even if Nakamura had been the subject of a firm offer, he would not necessarily have found the prospect of a return to Italy appealing.

Since leaving Reggina to join Celtic in 2005, the 30-year-old has played the best football of his career and helped the Hoops win a hat-trick of league titles. In 2007 he was rewarded for an outstanding campaign with a clean sweep of the major player of the season awards.

With Champions League assured at Celtic for next season, it would be a major gamble for Nakamura to give that up to join a side freshly promoted to the Italian top flight.

Nakamura has also been linked with a return to Japanese football, with a transfer to his former J.League side Yokohama F Marinos a more likely option than a move to another European club at the end of his Celtic career.

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