Park Chu-young to sign for Arsenal

Park Chu-young to sign for Arsenal

By Paul Williams

South Korean star Park Chu-young is poised to sign a new deal with English Premier League side Arsenal.

Park Chu-young

Park, who is captain of the South Korean national team, looked headed for a switch from AS Monaco to Ligue.1 Champions Lille before a last minute approach from Arsenal.

That decision disappointed many at the club, including captain Rio Mavuba, who told the Ligue.1 website: “We all thought Park was on his way here.

“I’m pretty disappointed because we were really looking forward to his arrival. But he made his choice. Unfortunately for us, he chose Arsenal, but it looks like they really need him.”

Park completed the second part of his medical at Arsenal on Sunday, before flying to Korea to join up with the national team ahead of their World Cup Qualifiers which will take place over the next week.

Speaking to reporters upon arriving in Korea, Park said: ”I had to make a decision between Arsenal and Lille. And the decision had to be what I want and won’t regret.”

The deal has also been endorsed by national team manager Cho Kwang-rae, who said: ”He [Park] will playing many games in the EPL, he will be able to grow into a better player. It might be helpful for the national team.”

One of the stumbling blocks in finding a new club has been the fact that Park, like all able-bodied Korean men, must complete a minimum of two-years of national service before he turns 28. While it is understood that the deal with Arsenal is worth a reported £4 million, the initial fee is reported to be only £2.5 million, but could rise if certain “extras” are met, one of which is Park’s exclusion from national service.

If Park isn’t excluded, he will be conscripted to national service and will have to leave Arsenal by 2013 to complete his duties.

The deal will see Park join fellow Asian player Ryo Miyaichi at Arsenal.

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