• Kyodo


French first-division side Marseille and Japan international midfielder Koji Nakata struck a deal Friday after the player cleared a medical check and agreed to the details of the new contract.

Marseille is expected to wait until Tuesday to formally introduce Nakata as his current contract with J. League first-division club Kashima Antlers does not expire until Monday.

“I can’t say I’m happy yet. I’m really tired today. Once everything becomes official it should hit me as reality,” Nakata said.

“I showed them the scar from my surgery but I was told there was no problem,” he said when asked of the ligament in his left knee which he damaged two years ago.

Kashima initially rejected an offer from Marseille after Nakata traveled to France and underwent a trial with the team led by former Japan coach Philippe Troussier. Earlier this month, Kashima president Hiroshi Ushijima said, “We reject this offer. The deal offers hardly anything.”

But the club apparently took into consideration Nakata’s strong desire to move and finally gave the green light despite no mention of a transfer fee in the deal.

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