Ki Sung-yueng poised to join English Premier League
Korea football player Ki Sung-yueng is poised to join Swansea City in the English Premier League, officials said Tuesday, Korean time, ending weeks of speculation about his future destination.
In an interview in Scotland, Swansea City Chairman Huw Jenkins said his club and Celtic FC, Ki's current team, have agreed on a transfer fee for the South Korean midfielder.
"We are currently holding discussions with player and agent over personal terms," Jenkins was quoted as saying on STV in Scotland. "We are aware of other clubs' interest, but we are hopeful we can conclude a deal in the next 24 hours. We feel he is a very exciting young player who has a good career in front of him."
Ki, 23, has been subject to transfer rumors over the summer. Other Premier League clubs, such as Arsenal, Liverpool, Fulham and Queens Park Rangers (QPR), have reportedly been interested in Ki as well.
If the deal is finalized, Ki would become the 10th South Korean to play in the Premier League. There are currently three active players there: Park Ji-sung with QPR, Park Chu-young with Arsenal and Ji Dong-won with Sunderland.
Though Jenkins didn't disclose the amount of the transfer fee, reports said it is believed to be around 5 million pounds ($7.9 million; 10.7 billion won).
Ki was an integral part of the Korean squad that won the bronze medal at the London Olympics earlier this month. The medal granted him an exemption from the mandatory military service in Korea.
After returning home following the Olympics, Ki hasn't joined Celtic for the Scottish season. The Scottish club is in Sweden this week for Champions League playoff action.
Ki made his professional debut in 2006 with FC Seoul in Korea's K-League. He joined Celtic in January 2010 and helped the team win the Scottish Premier League title last season.
A central midfielder known for his on-field vision and knack for scoring long-range goals, Ki has represented Korea in 47 international matches and has been a fixture in the team's set pieces. He spent most of his youth career in Australia.
Swansea City finished 11th out of 20 teams in the English Premier League last season, its first following the promotion from the second-tier Football League Championship. (Yonhap)