Soccer: Sahar close to completing Espanyol move

Israeli youngster set to leave Chelsea to play in Spain.

ben sahar 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
ben sahar 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel international Ben Sahar is set to undergo a medical over the weekend before finalizing his transfer to RCD Espanyol of Spain's La Liga. The Barcelona club is expected to pay Chelsea around 1 million euros for the striker, who spent the last six months on loan at Dutch club De Graafschap. The 19-year-old, who was signed by Chelsea in 2006, failed to make an impression in London, making just three appearances for the club in the last three years, while going out on loan on four separate occasions. Sahar played in the 2007/08 season for both QPR and Sheffield Wednesday of the English Championship. At QPR, Sahar failed to score, playing in nine matches, while at Sheffield he found the net three times in 12 appearances and helped the side avoid relegation. He began last season at Portsmouth, but didn't settle at the club and failed to make a single official appearance. At De Graafschap, Sahar scored five goals in 16 appearances, but couldn't save his team from relegation. Meanwhile, Japan midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura is also close to signing withEspanyol, according to local media reports. Nakamura and Espanyol have reached a basic agreement that will earn the midfielder $1.6 million a year to join the Spanish first division side, Kyodo News agency reported late Wednesday. Nakamura's contract Scottish club Celtic expires at the end of this month, meaning he can move to Espanyol on a free transfer. A veteran of the 2006 World Cup, Nakamura initially expressed an interest in re-signing with his former J-League club Yokohama F Marinos, but began negotiations with Espanyol after talks with Yokohama stalled over financial matters. Nakamura who turns 31 next week, left Yokohama in 2002 to join Italian club Reggina. He signed with Celtic in 2005 and has become a favorite with fans, helping his team to three consecutive league championships from 2006 to 2008. AP contributed to this report.