Hwang Ui-jo transfer saga ends where it began: Bordeaux
After days of rumors and speculation, the Hwang Ui-jo transfer rollercoaster has ended exactly where it began: Bordeaux.
The Korean forward, Bordeaux's top scorer last season, has been at the center of transfer rumors all summer. Although a crucial part of the Bordeaux attacking lineup, Hwang was seen as an easy way for the cash-strapped club to make a quick buck, with even the official Ligue 1 website listing him as one of the top players to watch during the transfer window.
But despite interest, no deal was made for Hwang over the long summer months. It wasn't until the very last couple of days of the transfer window, which closed at midnight on Tuesday, that French press started to report that a Hwang deal was seriously in the works.
French journalist Clement Carpentier reported Monday that, according to an unnamed source, Bordeaux had finalized a 14-million-euro ($16.6-million-dollar) deal for Hwang. Neither Carpentier nor the subsequent French reports had any information on where Hwang was supposedly headed, but the rumors pointed to a wealthy Russian club, potentially Dynamo Moscow.
If that was real, it fell through — some reports suggest that Hwang himself refused the move.
But Bordeaux apparently had another option, reportedly arranging a cash-and-trade deal with Sporting Lisbon that would have seen Jovane Cabral move to Bordeaux in exchange for Hwang. That deal also fell through, this time reportedly because Cabral refused to move.
With no time left on the transfer clock, the Hwang transfer saga came to a close. Bordeaux fail to raise some much-needed funds, but they do get to keep their top scorer. The frantic scramble to make a deal has likely left Hwang feeling fairly uncomfortable, but the evidence suggests the attempted move was purely economic, not because the club isn't happy with his performance.
BY JIM BULLEY [email@example.com]