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Page last updated at 12:17 GMT, Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Nakamura's January exit on hold

Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura
Nakamura wants to return to Japan for family reasons

Celtic's Shunsuke Nakamura will now stay with the Scottish champions until the end of the season.

Nakamura's agent Roberto Takuda left Glasgow on Monday after telling Celtic that Yokohama F Marinos will not now be submitting a bid for the 30-year-old.

Yokohama's parent company, Nissan, had raised a fee of around 3m in a bid to sign the Japan midfielder in January.

But, with the credit crunch hitting the automobile giants hard, they will wait until his contract expires in June.

Nakamura was widely expected to return to his homeland - and Yokohama F Marinos - in the New Year should Celtic exit European competition.

Last week's defeat to Aalborg meant that Celtic have not only failed to qualify from the group stages of the Champions League but also missed out on a parachute into the Uefa Cup.

And, with the J-League season beginning in March, January seemed like the right time to make the switch.

Nakamura signed for Celtic in the summer of 2005 and has been part of manager Gordon Strachan's three title-winning teams.

But, in recent months, the player has indicated that he wishes to return to Japan - and his first club - for the sake of his family and his international career.

It now seems certain that his departure will be delayed until the summer, when he will leave Celtic as a free agent.

A Celtic source has told BBC Sport that they are delighted the player will be available to help the club push for a fourth successive Scottith Premier League title.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell had repeatedly said that he would prefer Nakamura to remain in Glasgow.

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see also
Marinos to launch Nakamura raid
28 Oct 08 |  Celtic
Aalborg 2-1 Celtic
25 Nov 08 |  Europe

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