Reggae Boy Nicholson rubbishes talk of leaving Spartak for Turkish club
NICHOLSON...the team is working really hard in midseason training camp.

JAMAICAN footballer Shamar Nicholson and his agent have dismissed talk that the striker could be making a mid-season move from Russian Premier League team Spartak Moscow to a top flight club in Turkey.

Nicholson, who turns 26 next month, has been at Spartak for a year after leaving Belgian club Charleroi in the middle of the last campaign.

He tallied over 20 goals combined for Charleroi and the Moscow-based team last season, sparking increased interest from a number of clubs.

Media in Turkey have speculated that Galatasaray, in particular, could use the services of the powerful player who is well regarded for his composure in and around the 18-yard box.

Speculation has intensified as the February 8 deadline of the Turkish top flight football league mid-season transfer window approaches.

But Nicholson, who won the Russian Cup with Spartak last season, said he has no immediate plan to leave.

"Right now I'm very happy in Russia and totally committed to Spartak Moscow. The atmosphere in the team is great and my only focus now is to help Spartak fight to try to become [league] champions of Russia this season," he stated.

"The team is working really hard in mid-season training camp, and we're all looking forward to the league resuming so we can get back to business," the Reggae Boyz attacker, who once played for Dom┼żale in Slovenia after leaving Jamaican club Boys' Town FC, added.

Nicholson's agent Kevin Cowan expressed no surprise about the interest but ruled out a move during the winter break.

"I've been notified that recently there have been multiple reports in various media outlets in Turkey linking Shamar to a few clubs. Obviously, Shamar has a strong profile in Europe so it's normal that he'll be linked to various clubs from time to time.

"That being said, Shamar is settled in Russia at this moment and his focus is to help Spartak achieve their objectives this season. There are no plans or discussions about a move during the winter," he told the Jamaica Observer when contacted on Friday.

Spartak, among the most prominent teams in Russia, disappointedly finished 10th in the 16-team premier league last season, miles behind runaway winners Zenit St Petersburg. After 17 rounds this season Zenit, on 42 points, again have control but second-place Spartak (36) are still in the race.

Spartak Moscow's next competitive match is a Cup fixture set for February 22 while they are scheduled to return to league action on March 4.

Sanjay Myers

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