'Monster' Kim signs for Beijing despite Watford bid

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail SHINE, January 30, 2019
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South Korean defender Kim "Monster" Min-jae on Tuesday snubbed interest from the English Premier League and the advise of his teammates to sign for Beijing Guo'an in China.

The 22-year-old center-back, whose club Jeonbuk Motors said they had received a bid from Watford reported to be about US$8 million, instead plumped for the Chinese Super League.

Guo'an, which finished fourth in the CSL last season after falling out of the title race, announced Kim's signing but did not disclose the size of the transfer fee.

Coached by Germany's Roger Schmidt, Guo'an will be hoping the established international can stiffen a leaky defense that conceded 45 goals in the CSL last season.

Kim missed the 2018 World Cup because of injury but is a stalwart of the South Korean side and was in the team for its surprise 0-1 loss to Qatar in the Asian Cup quarterfinals last week.

Kim, whose "Monster" nickname stems from his powerful physique, had put all talk of his next move off while at the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

But teammates had encouraged him to take his chance and follow in the footsteps of Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min, who has excelled in the EPL.

Even Korean players plying their trade in the CSL had told the defender to go to England.

"I thought that he was going to China but then I heard good news and I hope he can make the better choice," said Kwon Kyung-won, who plays for Tianjin, after Watford's interest surfaced.

China is attractive to Asian players because of its high wages and proximity to home.

AS Roma's Leandro Paredes controls the ball during the Italian Serie A match against Sampdoria in Genoa in this January 29, 2017, photo. Paris Saint-Germain has completed the signing of the Argentina midfielder on a four-and-a-half-year deal, the French champion said on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Paris Saint-Germain has completed the signing of Argentina midfielder Leandro Paredes from Zenit Saint Petersburg on a four-and-a-half-year deal, the French champion announced on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old put pen to paper on a contract until 2023 after completing a medical in Qatar. No transfer fee was disclosed, although press reports have put the fee at 47 million euros (US$54 million).

"Leandro's arrival will keep the momentum, both on the pitch and among our supporters, ahead of the major events coming up. Exciting times lie ahead," PSG's Qatari president Nasser al-Khelaifi said in a club statement.

"After my previous experiences in Italy and Russia, I now have this fantastic opportunity, not only to discover a new league, but above all one to wear one the most prestigious club jerseys in the world," said Paredes, who will team up with compatriot Angel di Maria at the Parc des Princes.

The Ligue 1 leader was looking to strengthen in midfield ahead of its UEFA Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester United, with Marco Verratti sidelined with an ankle injury and Adrien Rabiot frozen out after refusing to sign a new contract.

PSG goes to Old Trafford for the first leg of that tie on February 12, and it is currently sweating on the fitness of Neymar, who suffered a metatarsal injury last week.

Paredes, who has won nine caps but was not part of Argentina's squad at last year's World Cup, has previously played for Boca Juniors and AS Roma. He moved to Zenit in 2017.

PSG may still look to add another midfielder before the January transfer window closes, having already had an offer rejected for Idrissa Gueye of Everton.

British Sky Sports reported late on Monday that the Senegal international, who used to play for Lille, had handed in a transfer request to try to force through a move back to France.

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