Hong Jeong-ho is set to join the ranks of Korean footballers playing in the world's top leagues. Jeju United FC in the K-League on Thursday said Hong departed for Germany to sign a contract with Bundesliga club Augsburg.
Hong's contract with Jeju United runs until the end of 2014. A team official said, "Augsburg approached us with an offer two weeks ago, and management approved it on Wednesday evening. We still need to negotiate details like the transfer fee, but we basically agreed to let Hong move" to Germany.
Hong will become the first Korean center back to play in a big league in Europe. Other center backs like Kang Chul, a coach for Pohang Steelers in the K-League, played for LASK Linz in Austria, and Sim Jae-won played for Eintracht Frankfurt in the second tier of the Bundesliga in 2001, but none in the big leagues.
Lee Young-pyo, who played for Tottenham Hotspur and Borussia Dortmund, Cha Du-ri, who spent several seasons in the Bundesliga, and Park Joo-ho, who currently plays for FSVMainz 05 in Bundesliga, are all wingbacks.
Son Heung-min of Leverkusen is a striker and Koo Ja-cheol plays as a midfielder for Wolfsburg.