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By ESPN Staff
Apr 21, 2008

Strachan 'must' keep Nakamura for one more year

Gordon Strachan has vowed to fight to keep Shunsuke Nakamura at Celtic for at least another season.

But he admits he will have no complaints if the Japan international returns to his homeland next summer.

The midfielder's contract runs out at the end of this campaign but Celtic can exercise a 12-month option to retain his services.

Nakamura has repeatedly expressed a desire to finish his career at his first club, Yokohama Marinos.

But Strachan believes the 29-year-old, who joined Celtic from Italian club Reggina in 2005, can achieve much more at Parkhead before returning to Japan.

'It's a must that we keep Naka for another year,' Strachan told the Evening Times.

'I've told him that this club is suited to him and that it's a dream club for a player like him. He absolutely loves it here. And he knows how much the fans, the players and the coaches love him.'

A delegation from Yokohama are reported to be holding talks with Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell this week.

Strachan added: 'I know Naka does not want to go back home when he is unable to perform as he can. But he's incredibly fit.

'Naka's still under contract and we need him to stay for another year.

'If he decides after that to go home and play his football, then we will hold our hands up and say `fine', because what he has done here has been absolutely beyond the call of duty.'