“When the time comes, I’ll understand why he wants to go back to his own country and play for his favourite team there,” Strachan told the Japanese media.
“But Naka loves it here and he’s made Scottish football more enjoyable.
“He’s the best I’ve worked with and when he walks away I’ll be on bended knee and thanking him because he’s terrific.
“If I’m lucky to be here in 25 or 30 years’ time I will still be thinking about Shunsuke Nakamura.
“It’s not a love affair. It’s just that I still remember playing with great players like Bryan Robson, Gary McAllister, Graeme Souness and Kenny Dalglish.”
Nakamura looks set to return to Japan in January, eventough Strachan is desperate to keep him in Scotland.