Rumors fly over football transfersSince the 2014 Brazil World Cup ended Sunday, the heat of the international summer transfer market is higher than ever with rumors being spread every day. Korean players in European leagues are part of the market, and several transfers are in the works ahead of the 2014-15 season, which kicks off in late August.
Yesterday, Britain’s Daily Mail reported that Cardiff City wants to add Lee Chung-yong of the Bolton Wanderers for 2 million pounds ($3.4 million). Lee’s contract with the Wanderers expires next year. But it is questionable whether Lee, who wants to return to the English Premier League, would go to another Championship League team. If he joins Cardiff City, he would be competing with Korean national teammate Kim Bo-kyung for a spot in midfield, which Lee might not be an ideal circumstance for Lee.
A strange rumor was reported by Sarah Webster of Britain’s BT Sport on her Twitter feed, which said Sunderland, where Korean midfielder Ki Sung-yueng was loaned last season, is considering acquiring free-agent striker Park Chu-young. The report noted that the news was bizarre since the 28-year-old striker failed to impress not only Korean fans, but also coaches and scouts during the World Cup. He finished his third Cup with only one attempt on goal in two matches.
It is more likely that a transfer would come out of the interest he is currently getting from Turkey’s Bursaspor, led by Coach Senol Gunes, who coached Park and FC Seoul from 2006 to 2009.
After the Cup, a rumor emerged that Ki Sung-yueng of Swansea City might move to Aston Villa, which was reported on Monday by British media. The reports said that Villa Manager Paul Lambert wants to bring on the defensive midfielder for 6 million pounds ($10.2 million). However, Ki’s agent denied the news, saying he is staying at Swansea City.
In this transfer period, the first Korean player to sign on to a new team in Europe was defender Kim Jin-soo. Coach Hong Myung-bo selected him for the national squad in May, but he was later replaced by Park Joo-ho due to an injury. The 22-year-old, who previously played in Japan, moved to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim of the Bundesliga in Germany on June 13.
After Kim heads off to play on German soil next season, there will be a total of seven Korean players in the country, including Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Koo Ja-cheol and Park Joo-ho (FC Mainz), and Ji Dong-won (BVB Dortmund).
BY KWON SANG-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]