Korea Republic’s AFC Asian Cup 2019 defender turns down Premier League to sign for Chinese Super League club

Kim Min-jae

Korea Republic defender Kim Min-jae has revealed that he will join Chinese Super League club Beijing Sinobo Guoan FC after returning home from AFC Asian Cup 2019.

Kim was the star for South Korea at the continental showpiece and one of their most influential players as the defender got on the scoresheet twice as well. However, he couldn’t help the Asian giants to qualify for the semifinal of the tournament as they lost 1-0 to Qatar in the quarterfinal.

AFC Asian Cup 2019: Korea Republic 2-0 China PR – Kim Min-jae (51′)

There were reports that English Premier League side Watford were interested in the centre-back and had even registered their interest. However, as it turned out, the defender is set to join CSL.

“I’m going to Beijing,” Kim revealed as reported by Yonhap News Agency. “They’ve been showing interest in me since November,” he added.

When quizzed about the interest from Watford, he said, “I don’t know whether there was actually an offer from Watford. Even if there were an offer, I would have had to deal with work permit issues.”

Further expanding on how the move would help him in the long run, Kim added, “What matters is my performance with the club. It’s important for me to take a starting spot there and play better. Then I believe I can still contribute for the national team.”

The 22-year-old was with South Korean club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC prior to the Asian Cup and will now shift base to China.