English Premier League soccer team Queens Park Rangers signed South Korea international Park Ji-Sung from Manchester United on a two-year contract.
Financial terms for the 31-year-old midfielder’s contract weren’t disclosed. He’s moving for a transfer fee of 2 million pounds ($3.1 million), the Manchester Evening News reported earlier.
Park helped United win four Premier League titles and the Champions League during his seven years at the club, making more than 200 appearances and scoring 27 goals. He’s one of six offseason signings by west London team QPR, along with Ryan Nelsen, Andy Johnson, Rob Green, Samba Diakite and loan signing Fabio da Silva, who’s also from United.
“On a football level Ji is someone I have admired from afar for years,” QPR manager Mark Hughes told a televised news conference. “He wore the red shirt of Manchester United in a distinguished way and he will bring a great deal to the team. It’s a very exciting time for QPR.”
QPR owner Tony Fernandes, who controls Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd., is keen to increase the profile of the club and described Park as a “global star,” whose signing shows “our determination and our ambition to build this club.”
Born in Seoul, Park began his career at Kyoto Purple Sanga in Japan. He represented South Korea in the 2002 World Cup, where the nation reached the semifinals on home soil, before following the national team manager Guus Hiddink to PSV Eindhoven the same year. He switched to United from the Dutch team in July 2005.
“I know QPR want to improve and have ambitions to reach the next level and I will try my best to help,” Park told reporters. “There were other offers but nothing compared to QPR.”
QPR was promoted back to the top flight in 2011 after a 15-year absence. Fernandes bought the club last August.
In January this year, Fernandes fired manager Neil Warnock, replacing him with Hughes, a former Manchester United player who’s also coached clubs including Manchester City and Fulham. Under Hughes, QPR finished a point above the three-team relegation zone last season.
“I said at the end of the season we didn’t want to be in the same position next season and I stand by that, we are in a better place now,” Hughes said.
Fernandes is continuing to search for the site of a new stadium for QPR, whose current capacity is about 18,000, the lowest in the top division. While progress is being made, he said today, he did not go into specifics.