Yokohama make new move for Nakamura

TOKYO - Japan's Yokohama F-Marinos have made a renewed approach to unsettled Espanyol midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura, Japanese media reported on Saturday.

The 31-year-old snubbed his boyhood team in favour of Espanyol last June but has failed to establish himself in the Spanish top flight.

Yokohama want to try again to lure Nakamura away from La Liga before the start of the J-League season on March 6.

"It's a delicate process," Yokohama President Akira Kaetsu told the Sankei Sports newspaper. "We don't have much time."

F-Marinos manager Kazushi Kimura warned Nakamura could struggle to make an impact for Japan at this year's World Cup if he did not get regular first-team football.

"The situation needs to be sorted out quickly - for the player's sake," Kimura told the Nikkan Sports. "While he is not playing, he's losing his match sharpness.

"That's a worry before the World Cup. We would love to have him at Yokohama. We would score more goals with him on free-kick duty."

Nakamura has grown increasingly disgruntled since joining Espanyol, arriving at the La Liga club to a "Galactico" billing and comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Japan playmaker signed a two-year deal after winning three Scottish Premier League titles with Celtic.

However, he has struggled to establish himself at the Barcelona-based side and his form for Japan has also suffered a dip with the 2010 World Cup less than four months away.