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Ahn May Play in Korean League in 2007

Posted January. 05, 2007 07:18,   

한국어

Will the migrant ‘Lord of the Rings’ Ahn Jung-hwan (31) return to play in Korea?

Ahn, who has not decided on a team for more than four months after the 2006 World Cup in Germany, is considering signing with the domestic professional soccer team Suwon Samsung.

Samsung stated on January 4, “we are negotiating Ahn’s annual salary and game bonuses. We could accept him if the terms are agreeable.”

But while negotiating with Ahn, Samsung stated that it would be difficult to treat him on the same level as other domestic first-rate players such as Lee Dong-guk (Pohang Steelers) and Lee Chun-soo (Ulsan Hyundai). Ahn has taken a long break, and was judged not to be in peak form.

Lee Chun-soo will reportedly receive an offer from the Japanese professional soccer league of an annual salary of 800 million won. Lee Chun-soo and Lee Dong-guk’s salaries in Korea have not been officially revealed, but are expected to be between 800 million to 1.1 billion won. In Ahn’s case, an amount over 800 million may not be expected.

A source from Samsung stated, “Ahn Jung-hwan has displayed his will and pride to play on the domestic field. We will acknowledge the parts that need acknowledging. But we plan to pay him according to his performance.” Though lowering his salary, Samsung means to repay him according to his performance through the number of games and other incentives. Ahn responded, “As the final signing has not taken place, it is difficult to express my perspective at this point.”

Having been active since 1998 with the Daewoo Royals, Ahn moved to Perugia, Italy in 2000. Should he return to Korea, it would have been seven years since leaving to play overseas. After Japan and France, he played for Germany’s professional team in Duisburg, but has not found a team since September 2006.

Ahn has also been reported to have contacted Incheon United and Seongnam Ilhwa. But Incheon and Seongnam said, “We haven’t met for specific discussions on salaries.”



bluesky@donga.com