Europe-based Korean footballers rumored to be on the move

July 15, 2014

(Yonhap) — With the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in the books and the summer transfer window fully open in European club football, some South Korean players are being rumored to be on the move.

Ki Sung-yueng, under contract with Swansea City in English Premier League, is being linked to Aston Villa. Mirror reported that Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert wants “an experienced holding midfielder” and hopes to acquire Ki from Swansea City, where he has one year left on his contract.

Daily Mail also said Villa has held talks with Swansea City over Ki, adding the 25-year-old South Korean will be a cheaper and younger option than Esteban Cambiasso, a 33-year-old who’s played for Inter Milan in Italy since 2004.

Korean midfielder Lee Chung-yong celebrates after scoring the match-winner in the 86th minute of a football friendly match between Korea and Switzerland at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, Friday. Korea claimed a 2-1 victory in the first clash between the two countries since Switzerland defeated Korea 2-0 in the final Group G match at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. / Yonhap

Lee Chung-yong might be moving on to another team in EPL. (Korea Times file)

According to Daily Mail, the transfer fee may approach 6 million British pounds (US$10.3 million) and acquiring Ki, known for his technique and on-field vision, would be Aston Villa’s “first significant outlay” of the summer.

Ki’s agency, though, denied transfer rumors, saying the player will return to Swansea City.

Ki first joined Swansea City before the 2012-13 season from the Scottish side Celtic and spent the past season with Sunderland on a loan.

Swansea City finished 12th last Premier League season, while Sunderland was 14th and Aston Villa was right below at 15th place.

Lee Chung-yong is another South Korean midfielder reportedly set to join a new club. Daily Mail said the Bolton Wanderers veteran is being pursued by Cardiff City.

Lee also has one year remaining on his deal, and the newspaper said Bolton will be looking to deal him now for some transfer fee in return. Cardiff City is considering an offer of around 2 million British pounds.

Lee signed with Bolton before the 2009-10 season from FC Seoul.

Both Bolton and Cardiff are in the second-division Football League Championship. Bolton was demoted from the Premier League in 2012 while Cardiff City followed suit this past season.

Cardiff City has another South Korean on the club, midfielder Kim Bo-kyung.

Ki and Lee were both on the South Korean World Cup squad, which was eliminated from the group stage in Brazil with two losses and a draw.

Another member of the team, Park Chu-young, has been linked to a Turkish club Bursaspor.

Park had been with Arsenal, but the Premier League club decided not to renew the little-used forward after his deal expired at the end of last month.

Turkish media reports have said Senol Gunes, who once coached Park on FC Seoul and is now leading Bursaspor, has shown interest in his former pupil.