Guangzhou R&F sign controversial Korean midfielder
Busan IPark have announced the sale of international midfielder Park Jong-Woo to Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F, with the player signing a three-year contract with the Canton side.
Park, 24, hit the headlines at the London 2012 Olympics when he was denied the chance to collect his bronze medal after holding up a “Dokdo/Tokto (Liancourt Rocks) are our land” banner regarding the disputed island chain following the country’s victory over Japan.
A defensive-minded midfield player, Park has represented his country on 10 occasions since his 2012 debut and was regarded as one of the best in his position of the 2013 K League Classic season.
Indeed, Park has spent the past few weeks in USA with the Hong Myung-Bo’s Korea national side as they continue preparations for the World Cup. Following the earlier arrival of Jang Hyun-Soo, R&F will now boast two recent Korean internationals in their squad for the 2014 CSL season.
The trend of increased Korean involvement in China was further emphasised on Thursday with Henan Construction announcing the capture of 29-year-old defender Lee Ji-Nam from Daegu FC.
Lee, who can also play as a defensive midfielder, is the newly promoted side’s fourth confirmed foreign player for the 2014 season and joins fellow new signing Rafael Marques in Zhengzhou.
To add to the wave of Korean talent heading in China’s direction, Jiangsu Sainty are currently heavily linked with another defender Yoon Sin-Young, although no official announcement has yet been forthcoming.
Shanghai Shenhua, meanwhile, could be another side with two Korean players in their squad this season with centre-back Kim Hyung-Il set to be announced shortly. He will likely partner Cho Byung-Kuk at the heart of the side’s defence this campaign.
Author: Christopher Atkins
Based in Guangzhou, Christopher covers Chinese football for a range of media outlets worldwide and is Wild East Football’s lead editor for news content.
His work can regularly be seen on ESPN FC, Bleacher Report and Hupu amongst other media outlets, while he has interviewed a number of leading figures in Chinese football.