Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine has been offered a four-year contract beginning with next season, and Valentine’s acceptance of the new deal is imminent, a source familiar with the situation said Thursday at Tokyo Dome.

Valentine’s new deal will go through 2009. The source was not familiar with financial terms.

Earlier this week, Valentine said no offer to stay with the 2005 Japan Series champion was on the table, and reports since then centered on speculation that Valentine was close to a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers to fill their vacant managerial post.

Valentine was linked to managerial positions with the Tampa Bay Devils Rays and Washington Nationals but has elected to stay with Lotte.

“We’ve had good meetings about going forward,” Valentine said. “The terms were very good, but nothing has been signed.”

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