Hwang In-beom set to sign with Greek side Olympiacos: Reports
Just a week after renewing his contract with FC Seoul, Hwang In-beom appears to be headed back west with multiple reports over the weekend that the former Rubin Kazan midfielder is in the process of signing with Greek club Olympiacos.
Greece's Gazetta.gr reported on Saturday evening that 26-year-old Hwang is in the process of signing with reigning Greek champions Olympiacos, and has left the national team in Japan in order to complete the deal.
Hwang has been linked to a Greek club before, with AEK Athens reportedly looking to sign the midfielder in the early Spring when the Russian invasion of Ukraine forced Hwang to leave Rubin Kazan. AEK were interested in Hwang because manager Matías Almeyda was familiar with the Korean midfielder from when they were both in Major League Soccer, Hwang with the Vancouver Whitecaps and Almeyda as manager of the San Diego Earthquakes.
No deal came through in the spring and Hwang ended up returning to Korea and joining FC Seoul on a three-month contract that he renewed last week. In the deal, Hwang agreed with Seoul that if an international option came along, he would be free to leave Seoul to pursue other opportunities.
Hwang started his career with Daejeon Citizen in the K League and stayed with the club as they were immediately relegated to the K League 2. He joined the Whitecaps in 2019 and spent a year playing in the United States before moving to Rubin Kazan in Russia. His career in Russia came to an abrupt end earlier this year, forcing him back to Seoul.
Hwang is also a national team regular and has scored four goals for Korea in 35 appearances for the senior team. He was also part of the gold medal winning team at the 2018 Asian Games, earning him a military exemption. He has already completed his basic training and was actually in the military when the 2018 Asiad win happened, meaning he is entirely free to pursue his football career moving forward.
He is a versatile box-to-box midfielder that is able to hang back and play a deeper defensive role or support the attacking line as a playmaker. For the Korean national team, Hwang often plays in the center in a supportive role behind the likes of Son Heung-min, Hwang Hee-chan and Hwang Ui-jo.
Olympiacos is the winningest team in Greek Super League history, with 47 titles including in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
As of press time, neither Olympiacos or Hwang have confirmed the signing, although Hwang has signaled that he is on the move with a lengthy Instagram post thanking FC Seoul and the club's fans posted late on Sunday night.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]