August 29, 2011 11:10
Korea captain Park Chu-young is heading to Arsenal to become the ninth Korean in the English Premier League, according to the BBC and other British media on Sunday.
Park has been deadlocked at AS Monaco for weeks and looking for a way to leave the club that was recently relegated to France's second-tier league. After reportedly being courted and spurned by top outfits like Liverpool, the deadly striker confirmed he is on his way out after taking a medical test with the Gunners in London on Saturday (local time), the Telegraph reported.
Arsenal has won 13 titles in the top-flight of English soccer since it was formed in 1920 and, until recently, was firmly fixed among the nation's "Big Four" clubs together with Manchester United, Chelsea, and Liverpool.
However its enviable position near the top of the tree is being challenged by newly minted outfits such as Manchester City, while Sunday's 8-2 demolition by reigning title holder Manchester United will surely create a new crisis of confidence among Manager Arsene Wenger and his young wards.
Nonetheless, Park will be happy to be joining one of the world's most prestigious clubs in arguably the world's toughest league. He came close to signing with Lille, in France's Ligue 1, but changed his mind after talking to Wenger, the BBC reported.
Park was expected to sign a contract with Arsenal on Sunday night worth ￡10 million (W 17.6 billion). The signing fee was believed to have been lowered in light of the fact that he must return home before the end of 2013 to complete two years of mandatory military service.
The news makes Park the latest Korean to flood into English soccer after Ji Dong-won, who began playing for Sunderland in June. As soon as Park finalizes the contract, he will join the Korean national team and prepare for the third preliminary round of qualifiers for the 2014 Brazil World Cup, which start on Friday.
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