Came across a tweet that lead me to a Sponichi Annex article that I was expecting to have to translate, then I found out that it quoted an article in the Scotland Evening Times that indicates that Celtic FC is possibly considering taking a shot at Nagatomo. Here's the juicy bit from an article headlined “First NAKA, now NAGA”:
CELTIC have been linked with another Japanese player – and he comes with a recommendation from Shunsuke Nakamura.
Yuto Nagatomo is currently making a big name for himself as a defender with FC Tokyo.
But it has been his performances while playing alongside Naka with the Japanese national team headed to next summer's World Cup finals which are predicted to make him the next J-league player to move west.
Nakamura has been so impressed with the rising star, who just turned 23 at the weekend, he is telling anyone who might be in the market for a young defender that they would have no regrets if they took a punt on Nagatomo.
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Reports in Japan claim Celtic are already looking closely at him, though no formal approach to his club has been made to date.
The article claims that FC Tokyo values Nagatomo at about 2 million pounds (roughly $3.3 million US), which in the face of Cabore's $5 million sale to Qatar would seem to be a gruesomely low amount until one considers that the soccer sheiks tend to overpay for Brazillian strikers when they have their hearts set on it. Still, Nagatomo's gotta be worth more than Cabore and his value could only increase with a good showing in next year's World Cup.
The question, of course, is whether or not an NT player would be wise to make such a move in a World Cup year. Nagatomo certainly has the skills to play well in Europe, but how would the team fare next season without its treasured sideback?