Football

Marinos: No January Nakamura deal

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Yokohama F. Marinos have admitted they will not be signing Shunsuke Nakamura in January but hope the Celtic midfielder will return to the club in future.

Club president Masaharu Saito announced following the final J. League match of the season - the 6-1 away win over Urawa Reds - that Yokohama will have to wait to sign the Japan international when his Celtic contract expires in June as they cannot afford to pay the transfer fee.

"We have formally decided to postpone the signing (of Nakamura) in January," Saito was quoted as saying in Japanese sports daily Sports Nippon. "The biggest problem was the transfer fee."

Marinos were hoping to sign Nakamura, who has expressed his wish to return to his first club, in January so he would be available for the start of the 2009 J. League season in March.

But the current global economic crisis has hit their major sponsor Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Marinos will not be able to match Celtic's required fee for the 30-year-old.

"We know of his intention of playing in Yokohama (in the future)," added Saito.

"We'd like to do our best to become a club who deserves to have him."

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