Celtic confident of signing new Nakamura deal

August 19, 2007

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell is optimistic that Shunsuke Nakamura will extend his stay at Parkhead.

Lawwell dismissed summer speculation about the Japanese midfielder's future, which was fuelled by Italian lawyer Angelo Massoni's claim the Japanese midfielder had a £1million get-out clause.

And the Celtic chief revealed the 29-year-old had refused to entertain any approaches.

'We're used to speculation surrounding Shunsuke,' Lawwell told the Sunday Mail.

'It's frustrating because some of the things mentioned, such as a £1million get-out clause, are total nonsense.

'Naka loves playing at Celtic and loves the fans. He has found a home here.'

Lawwell plans contract talks with the former Reggina player and agent Robert Takuda in the coming months.

'He is contracted until summer 2008 then we have a one-year option,' he said.

'We will sit down with his agent in December or early January and decide what's going to happen.

'Naka might decide to stay on for a few years or indicate he wants to move on.

'But I know he likes it here and has refused to entertain any nibbles at him about moving on.

'We've had interest from other clubs. Approaches have been made to him and us.'

Lawwell compared the midfielder's situation with former Hoops striker Henrik Larsson, who stayed in Glasgow for seven years despite interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs.

'We are a good club and do things in a professional manner,' Lawwell said.

'It shouldn't be underestimated what it's like to be here as a player.

'The grass isn't always greener if you leave and Naka knows that.'