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Manchester United's Park Ji-sung set to sign with new club

South Korean midfielder Park Ji-sung of Manchester United is set to sign with a new English club, reports said Saturday.

British broadcaster BBC said the Premier League veteran has agreed to a deal with the Queens Park Rangers, simply known as QPR.

According to the report, the 31-year-old could command about 5 million pounds (US$7.7 million) for the transfer fee. He has one

year left in his current contract with Manchester United.

Other British papers, The Daily Mail and The Guardian, have also reported on the imminent signing. The Daily Mail said QPR's

manager, Mark Hughes, is a fan of Park and the club's owner, Tony Fernandes, has encouraged the acquisition, given the marketing

potential of bringing in an Asian player.

Park joined Manchester United in 2005, becoming the first South Korean to play in the Premier League. He has made 133 Premier

League appearances and netted 19 goals.

Park won four Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League crown during his Man United years. Manager Alex Ferguson has

often turned to the Korean for key contests.

Park was relegated to a lesser role in the past season, however, conceding minutes to younger legs in the crowded United midfield.

QPR, based in London, is scheduled to hold a press conference on Monday to announce its global aspirations, reports said. Earlier

this week, Ki Sung-yueng, a South Korean international for the Scottish club Celtic, had been rumored to join QPR.

If the deal is signed, Park will go from one of the storied Premier League clubs to a team that barely stayed in the first

division this year. Man United battled the eventual Premier League champion Manchester City to the final contest last season, coming

up just short of its 20th title. QPR finished in 17th among 20 clubs. The bottom three teams in the Premiership each year are

relegated to the second division, replaced by the top three clubs from the lower tier.

Park began his professional career with Kyoto Purple Sanga in Japan in 2000. He had a breakout campaign at the 2002 FIFA World

Cup, where South Korea, co-host with Japan, reached the semifinals.

Guus Hiddink, then South Korea's head coach from the Netherlands, took him under his wing and inked him to a deal with

his Dutch side, PSV Eindhoven. Park played there for three years before landing in England.

(Yonhap News)

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