Newcastle made the shock announcement of Ki Sung-yueng this afternoon.
Surprising in so much as no-one, not the local or national press, and certainly the growing number supposed ITKs on social media, had even mentioned his name. The first anyone heard was post medical and with the ink still wet on his two year contract.
Ki had flown straight to Newcastle by private jet having been part of the South Korean side that was eliminated from eh group stage of the World Cup despite famously beating the Germans 2-0 in their last group game. Ki did not actually feature in that match, but had played every minute of the two games before that - both losses to the impressive Sweden and Mexico.
Now 29, Sung-yueng signs on a free transfer from Swansea City, having been relegated with the Swans last season.
And whilst most will consider his signing a sure sign of the impending sale of Merino, this one may prove to be a good piece of business with the player having made 166 appearances in the Premier League and almost 200 in English competitions whilst at Sunderland and Swansea.
If he is to be the replacement for the young spaniard then the result of those two transactions might just add a sum close to £10m (after agents fees) to Rafa’s transfer kitty. And with Merino doing little to effect Newcastle’s season last time out this could turn out quite well, despite the obvious potential that Mikel has at just 22 years old.
It certainly feels he’s been added to bolster the squad, rather than to force Diame or Shelvey out of place in the middle of the parl. We shall see…
As an aside, the photo here also shows Ki in the new Newcastle United home strip, the first time that this has been officially shared by the club. Thoughts?