NAKATA RETURNING TO ROMA
By James Burton
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The Roma star has been told by Japan coach Philippe Troussier that he must remain with the national team, should they advance to the final, causing the 24-year-old to miss his Italian club side's possible title decider at Napoli on Sunday.
Nakata is desperate to be at the San Paolo though and told his personal website that he intends to be there, whether Japan are in the final or competing in a play off for third place.
"Even if Japan were to advance to the final or play a match for third place, I will return to Italy," stated Nakata.
"I do not know when such a chance will come again, maybe next season I will not be in Italy and, even if I am, to win the championship is very difficult," added the attacking midfielder.
"If Roma win the title at Napoli I definitely want to be there on the pitch at that moment."
However, should Nakata return without the approval of Troussier he could find himself restricted to a place in the stands at the San Paolo. The national coach has first option on Nakata and Fifa could be asked to bar the Arsenal target from representing Roma if he refuses to play for his country.
The former Perugia star's suggestion that he may not be in Italy next season will only increase suspicions that he could be on his way to Highbury to boost Arsene Wenger's attacking options.