Could he succeed in Europe?
Quite probably, but if Hidetoshi Nakata cannot get a regular game at Roma or Parma, Nakamura would be lucky to be included among the ball boys at the Bernebeu.
There would certainly be no place for him in a midfield of Zidane, Raul and Figo.
Real's interest, if it materialises, can only be because they, like several other clubs before them, recognise a business opportunity when they see one.
Ever since Perugia reaped the initial benefits of Nakata-mania, clubs from all over Europe have been eager to claim their share of the marketability that signing a Japanese player gives them.
But, in the long term the players are not benefiting.
Indeed, Japan's World Cup hopes may yet flounder on the inactivity of those of their top players who have been languishing on substitutes benches in Italy, England and beyond.
Nakata has just turned down a loan move to Brescia but apart from Italian Cup matches, is rarely seen in Parma colours.
Anyway, his occasional indifference to the national cause during his Roma days has not endeared him to coach Philippe Troussier.
Akinori Nishizawa has just returned to his J2 club Cerezo Osaka.
His loan spell at Bolton Wanderers, like the one at Espanol the previous season, probably tested his patience more than his potential.
Like Nishizawa, Junichi Inamoto's chances in England with Arsenal have been limited to the Worthington Cup.