Nekounam nears Osasuna exit

New Osasuna President Miguel Archanco has admitted midfielder Javad Nekounam 'will almost certainly leave the club' this week.

The Iranian international, 31, is believed to be one of the highest-paid players at the Reyno de Navarra and Archanco maintains he would not be unduly worried about his departure.

“In Nekounam’s first season with us he did a lot and surprised everyone, although there are two 'Nekos', the one from that season and the one since.

“That is not to say he hasn’t been an important player for us, but perhaps he could have done more,” Archanco told Diario de Navarra.

Nekounam is reportedly a target for Iranian outfit Esteghlal, whose official website claims the player has already met officials and has promised President Ali Fathollahzadeh he will sign if Osasuna are willing to let him go on a free transfer.

However, Los Rojillos have placed a €2.5m price tag on Nekounam’s head as he still has one year remaining on his contract, yet if there are no takers then his representatives could find themselves discussing a reduction in his salary with the Pamplona-based club.

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