K News

K News

Kim Dae-Ryeong (follow Kim on twitter @KORFootballNews)

With the dawn of a New Year, Korea’s Professional Football League is celebrating its 30th anniversary. And with the transfer windows now open, some diligent teams have already revealed their new signings for the 2013 season.

A new name and logo embroiled in controversy

On 3 January 2013, Korea Professional Football League announced a new name and logo of Top and 2nd division. The top division that was called ‘K League’ become ‘K League Classic’ and the 2nd division become ‘K League’. The response from fans is divided. But like it or not, the top football league division in Korea will be called ‘K League Classic’ from now on.

 

Players chasing the dream

Yun Suk-Young could be headed to Europe

Last summer, Chunnam Dragons defender Yun Suk-Young rejected several offers from Europe and stayed at Chunnam to help save the team from relegation.

He made a success of the ‘save the Dragons’ and now has his sights set on a move to Europe. The 22-year-old left back was already linked with Manchester City, AC Milan and Tottenham Hotspur last year.

Reportedly, a number of teams still have interest in signing the Korean bronze medallist.

Kim Shin-Wook, Ulsan Hyundai’s lanky striker, is also weighing up a move to Europe. The 196cm striker who lead the Horang-i to the AFC Champions League title told Ulsan he will leave the club. According to Korean media, an unknown club in the Middle East is preparing an offer of $5m deal for Kim, but he has declared that he will not chase the money, instead he will chase his dream to play in Europe.

Talented central midfielders Yoon Bit-Garam, Ha Dae-Sung and Lee Seung-Ki are being targeted by European clubs too. Portuguese side SC Braga are tracking both Yoon Bit-Garam and Lee Seung-Ki and Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia want FC Seoul captain Ha Dae-Sung.

 

Clubs chasing a ‘Classic’ title

Jeonbuk Hyundai is at the eye of typhoon in this transfer window. The 2011 ACL runner-up already announced their signing of Song Je-Heon form Daegu and Lee Jae-Myung from Gyeongnam, while they are also strongly linked with Kevin Oris (Daejeon), Lee Seung-Ki (Gwangju), Park Hee-Do (Seoul) and Jung In-Hwan (Incheon).

After the Motors suffered from plenty of injuries in 2012, they hope their squad will be deep enough to cover such circumstances.

FC Seoul, the defending champion, already completed the signing of Yun Il-Rok last month and Suwon Samsung also succeeded in bringing Jong Tae-Se from FC Köln to Big Bird Stadium. These transfers are the big news for fans but are only the prelude to the winter transfer window.

 

Staying up?

Kim Gwi-Hyun has signed with Daegu

Gwangju FC became the first team relegated from the top division in Korean football history last year. The other 14 teams escaped, but there is a bigger threat in 2013 season (up to 3 teams could be relegated by play-off).

Daegu FC became the first team of those that avoided relegation of announce a new signing. Midfielder Kim Gwi-Hyun from Argentina’s Vélez Sársfield left South America to join Daegu. Daegu also brought Adriano Pardal and Fábio Santos from Brazil to Blue Arc Stadium.

Meanwhile, Daejeon Citizen completed the signing of Belgian defender Karel De Smet from Antwep FC and Gangwon completed the signing of Park Ho-Jin and Park Min from Gwangju.

 

There is no limit to Kim Byung-Ji

Kim Byung-Ji, the legendary goalkeeper, joined Chunnam Dragons from Gyeongnam FC. In fact, Kim had tried to stay in Gyeongnam, but the deal couldn’t be agreed to after a dispute over the length of the contract.

While he hoped for a multi-year contract extension, Gyeongnam wanted only one year. Meanwhile, Chunnam has offered a two-year contract to the 42-year-old goalkeeper, and he accepted it. His unbelievable career looks endless.

As previously mentioned, these transfers are only the beginning of the winter transfer window. Perhaps bigger news awaits. Keep an eye on Asian Football Feast and on twitter @KORFootballNews for all the latest.

Competition in the winter transfer window between relegation candidates is expected to heat up.

 

K League News in Brief

- Gyeongnam FC midfielder In Joon-Yeon will be loaned to Chungju Hummel;
- Gwangju FC announced the signing of Kim Geun-Chul and Cassio Vargas;
- Bucheon FC failed to sign Cheick Oumar Dabo who had played for Bucheon SK to Bucheon Stadium.


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