Korean top pro football scorer poised for transfer to Chinese club Tianjin

By Yonhap
  • Published : Dec 18, 2017 - 16:36
  • Updated : Dec 18, 2017 - 16:36

Reigning South Korean pro football league scoring champion Johnathan Aparecido da Silva is set to move to Chinese side Tianjin Teda, an official from his current club said Monday.

A Suwon Samsung Bluewings official said that the K League Classic club are currently in transfer talks with Tianjin Teda for the Brazilian striker.

"Tianjin made an 'irresistible offer,' which is tripling his salary, so we think it's inevitable for Johnathan to move to the Chinese club," the official said on the condition of anonymity. 

In this file photo taken on Oct. 21, 2017, Suwon Samsung Bluewings Brazilian striker Johnathan Aparecido da Silva (C) celebrates after he scored a goal against FC Seoul during the K League Classic match at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Johnathan, as he is commonly known, scored 22 goals in 29 matches this season to grab the scoring title of the top flight K League Classic. The 27-year-old became the first player to win the scoring title in both first and second divisions in South Korea. He previously topped the scoring in low-tier K League Challenge in 2015 when he netted 26 goals in 39 matches for Daegu FC.

Johnathan, who made his pro debut in 2009 with Brazilian outfit Goias FC, first landed in South Korea in 2014 after signing a loan deal with Daegu. He had two successful seasons with Daegu, scoring 40 goals in 60 matches.

Johnathan went back to his homeland at the end of 2015, but returned to South Korea seven months later to accept Suwon's loan offer. Although he joined the team in the middle of the season, he scored 10 goals in 14 matches to help Suwon win the 2016 Korean Football Association Cup. 

Johnathan completed a permanent move to Suwon this year after signing a three-year deal. He helped Suwon to finish third in the league and to earn the Asian Football Confederation Champions League playoff spot.

Tianjin Teda finished 13th in the 16-team Chinese Super League this year. Their head coach is Uli Stielike, who led the South Korean men's national football team from September 2014 to June 2017. (Yonhap)