Former Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura is eyeing a move from Yokohama F. Marinos to Jubilo Iwata and has entered negotiations with the Shizuoka club.
Nakamura, 38, has been offered a contract extension by Marinos, but the former Celtic man holds a deep sense of distrust of French manager Erick Mombaerts and the club’s player reinforcement policies.
“Talks are moving along between the club (Iwata) and my agent,” Nakamura said Thursday after Marinos’ season came to an end with a 2-0 defeat to the Kashima Antlers in the semifinals of the Emperor’s Cup.
Last month, sources revealed Iwata had made a multi-year offer for Nakamura. The player and Iwata manager Hiroshi Nanami have a strong bond as former teammates on the national side, both having worn the No. 10 shirt for Japan.
This season, Nakamura was limited to 19 league games by injuries to his left knee and both ankles. He scored four goals.
Jubilo managed to survive relegation this season, finishing 13th out of 18 teams, six points above the drop zone. Marinos placed 10th.
The rapid rejuvenation of the team under Marinos stakeholder City Football Group has been met with a backlash, and several other key players could be moving on to other teams.
Forward Manabu Saito, 26, is being eyed by German second-division club Bochum and Marinos’ local rivals Kawasaki Frontale, while goalkeeper Tetsuya Enomoto, 33, has had an offer from Urawa Reds.
Shingo Hyodo, 31, is moving to promoted Consadole Sapporo and FC Tokyo has shown interest in fellow midfielder Kosuke Nakamachi.
Out-of-contract defender Yuzo Kobayashi, 31, is expected to join Sagan Tosu, while former Japan defenders Yuji Nakazawa, 38, and Yuzo Kurihara, 33, look set to stay with Marinos.