Will he stay or will he go? A recent transfer rumor tips Korean international Park Ji-sung to leave Manchester United to join a Spanish La Liga club.
The reigning Premier League champion is undergoing a makeover in a bid to rebuild its squad this summer. Despite claiming a record 19th league title this season, Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has revealed his disappointment after losing to FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League final.
Park Ji-sung (Yonhap News)
Ferguson has called for radical changes to strengthen his team. He said he is keen on bringing more young talent to his squad in order to replace some old veterans, such as Paul Scholes and Edwin van der Sar.
And United is now in talks with Spanish club Atletico Madrid in a bid to sign 20-year-old goalkeeper David de Gea. Ferguson is also reportedly preparing to bring England international Ashley Young and Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder to Old Trafford.
Observers say the arrival of new players may lead to the departure of Park. Already, Atletico Madrid has shown interest in the former Korean captain, and another Spanish club, Sevilla FC, has said it is willing to spend money on the 30-year-old midfielder.
Park’s contract at Old Trafford expires in 2012, but he noted earlier that he wanted to continue to play for United. Park, who joined United in 2005, is regarded as one of Ferguson’s most trusted players.
However, Park recently told reporters that he was open to the idea of moving to another club before his retirement. Park retired from the national team earlier this year in order to focus on his club duty.
This season, the 30-year-old midfielder played a major role for Manchester United by helping the team advance to the Champions League final and also lifting their 19th league title. He has scored eight goals in competitions this season, proving manger Ferguson’s description of him as a “big-game player.”
But Park said recently: “I think I will be able to show my best play for one or two more years, and I don’t know how long I can stay at Manchester. It will all depend on my physical strength and conditions.”
Park is currently taking a summer break at his home in Korea, and is scheduled to return to the club for their pre-season tour of the United States in August.
By Oh Kyu-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org