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By ESPN Staff

Celtic chase signing of Nakamura

Celtic have made a move for Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura.

New Hoops boss Gordon Strachan, who has already signed two strikers and a left back, was a spectator at last month's Confederations Cup competition in Germany.

And he was not alone in spotting that the £2.75million-rated Nakamura enjoyed an excellent tournament.

The 27-year-old had already told his Italian club Reggina he wants to move before the new season.

Whether a switch to the Bank of Scotland Premier League would be more appealing than Spain's Primera Liga remains to be seen and Atletico Madrid and Deportivo la Coruna have been credited with strong interest.

Celtic are just as keen but reports suggesting a fee had already been agreed with Reggina appear to be premature.

Nakamura outshone golden boy Hidetoshi Nakata in the Confederations Cup competition.

He caused eventual winners Brazil plenty of problems, first by scoring to put his nation back in the game at 2-1 and then hitting a post with a free-kick to allow a team-mate to equalise on the rebound.

Nakamura also scored the only goal of the game against a Greece side containing one-time Rangers defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos.

Japan manager Zico, the Brazilian who was regarded as one of the world's best attacking midfielders in the 1970s, regards him as ``a great player''.

Nakamura had been controversially left out of the 2002 World Cup squad by Zico's predecessor Philippe Troussier.

That was because he was not regarded as physically tough enough to cope but Zico believed his three years in Serie A had changed that.

He said: 'Unquestionably, he has improved a great deal since his move to Serie A. He is the soul of our midfield.'

The left-sided player's goal-scoring record is an impressive one - 12 in 50 internationals for Japan.

Strachan also has Senegal defender Ibrahim Tall in his sights, with the 24-year-old having made a brief visit to the club.

Tall is available for free having seen out a three-year contract at French club Sochaux.

The Hoops head to England next week for training sessions followed by friendlies at Fulham on Saturday and Leicester the following Tuesday.