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Ex-S Korean captain Koo Ja-cheol to be reunited with K League's Jeju

This image provided by Jeju United today, shows the K League 1 team's former midfielder Koo Ja-cheol, who is expected to rejoin Jeju after 11 years overseas. (Jeju United)
This image provided by Jeju United today, shows the K League 1 team's former midfielder Koo Ja-cheol, who is expected to rejoin Jeju after 11 years overseas. (Jeju United)

After spending more than a decade overseas, South Korean midfielder Koo Ja-cheol is coming home.

Jeju United of the K League 1 said Wednesday that Koo, 32, has agreed to rejoin the team where he made his professional debut in 2007. Further details of the contract will be hammered out once Koo arrives in South Korea Thursday, the club added.

Koo played for Jeju from 2007 to 2010, netting eight goals and picking up 19 assists in 88 matches. He then launched his international club career with VfL Wolfsburg of the Bundesliga in January 2011. He went on to play for two other German clubs, Mainz 05 and FC Augsburg, over the next eight years.

Koo has spent the past three years in Qatar, first with Al-Gharafa and then with Al-Khor.

Internationally, Koo captained South Korea to a bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. He also served in the same role at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Jeju said they have remained in constant touch with Koo over a possible reunion.

"It wasn't easy to find room for an extra player, since our squad was already set for the 2022 season," Jeju said. "But considering what Koo Ja-cheol means not just for Jeju United but for Korean football, and how he can strengthen our club, we decided we absolutely had to have him."

Koo will serve a seven-day quarantine upon arriving here. Jeju said they expect Koo to be able to meet their fans before a home game against Suwon FC on March 6. (Yonhap)

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