FC Seoul have confirmed the departure of Korea international midfielder Ha Dae-Sung, with the 2013 AFC Player of the Year nominee joining CSL giants Beijing Guoan for a fee reported to be in excess of $4.5 million.
Ha, 28, has long since been considered one of the best local players of the K League Classic and had previously been the subject of transfer bids from West Asian and European football. However, it is only now that he has been persuaded to move away from his homeland.
Over the course of the past 12 months, Ha has been a regular opponent of Chinese sides and impressed in fixtures with Jiangsu Sainty, Beijing Guoan and Guangzhou Evergrande in the AFC Champions League. He also faced China with the Korea national side at the EAFF East Asian Cup, where he captained his country.
Ha has been selected in Hong Myung-Bo’s January training squad and is still considered to be in contention for a place at the World Cup in Brazil, albeit having lost his place in the starting lineup to the returning Ki Sung-Yeung of Sunderland. How his move to China affects his international chances, though, is a matter of much debate.
Beijing have been slow off the mark over the off-season, with outgoing coach Aleksander Stanojevic’s replacement yet to be resolved.
The Korean, set to arrive in Beijing on Sunday, becomes the first major recruit of what reports suggest will be a busy winter for the Gongti side.