Manchester United has been active in acquiring new players this summer, leading football fans to ponder the fate of Korean midfielder Park Ji-sung.
The British edition of Goal.com reported on Wednesday, "Manchester United is ready to offer Everton up to two players on loan in order to capture Leighton Baines this summer… Fringe players [Park Ji-Sung] and the Da Silva twins Fabio and Rafael have been mentioned as possible sweeteners in a deal for the England left-back."
Baines, who has been playing for Everton since 2007, is considered one of the best left backs in the English Premier League along with Patrice Evra and Ashley Cole.
United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson apparently took an interest in Baines after Evra had a mediocre last season. However, the likelihood of Park going to Everton on loan is very low. Park, who has signed with the club until June 2013, will have his contract automatically renewed for another year if his name makes the roster for 40 percent of the matches next season. Park has a right to veto a loan or trade, and he has repeatedly expressed his wish to end his career with United.
He is more likely to be affected by the team's latest acquisition, Shinji Kagawa of Japan. Kagawa was crucial in handing Korea a humiliating 0-3 loss in Sapporo last August by scoring two goals. He is coming off the back of a successful season at Dortmund in Germany's Bundesliga with 17 goals and 13 assists, helping his team to win two titles -- the Bundesliga and the DFB Pokal, Germany's version of the English FA Cup.
He has been wooed by a number of clubs in Europe. United announced Wednesday the transfer deals with both Borussia Dortmund and Shinji Kagawa. The deal is subject only to the player passing a medical and obtaining a U.K. work permit. These conditions will probably to be completed by the end of June, and further details will be announced in due course.
There is a degree of overlap between the roles Park and Kagawa play but they also each have their own strengths. Kagawa played a role of shadow striker in Dortmund's favored 4-2-3-1 formation, but United prefers playing a 4-4-2 line-up. Even if it switches to 4-2-3-1, Wayne Rooney would probably be the first choice to fill Kagawa's position.
However, if Ferguson switches the Japanese to the role of attacking winger, his position would overlap with that of Park. This would add another player to the list vying for the spot Park craves, a list that already includes Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Nani. As Park has also proved himself adept in central midfield, though, the two Asians could feasibly play side by side.