SUNDERLAND look to have won their battle with PSV Eindhoven for the signature of exciting young Korean striker Ji Dong-won after upping their initial bid for one of Asia’s hottest properties.
The Black Cats thought they had pulled off a bargain last week by agreeing an £800,000 deal for the 20-year-old, who scored four goals for his country in the recent Asia Cup competition.
But interest from the Dutch giants threatened to scupper the deal at the 11th hour with PSV offering his club Chunnam Dragons more for the player.
With Dong-won (right) himself expressing uncertainty at the weekend over which club to join, Sunderland secretary Margaret Byrne admitted frustration at the start of this week and spoke of the Black Cats’ reluctance to see talks drag on which might prevent the player linking up with his new team-mates in time for pre-season.
Now it seems Sunderland have acted swiftly and decisively to resolve the situation – improving their bid to top PSV’s on the basis of the deal being done quickly.
As a result, Chunnam Dragons have officially announced Dong-won will join Sunderland despite interest from PSV Eindhoven and an inquiry from German Bundesliga side Schalke 04.
Ji is now expected to sign a three-year deal pending a medical after Korea’s Olympic qualifier against Jordan next week.
In a short statement, Chunnam president Yoon Jong-Ho confirmed Sunderland’s offer has now been accepted.
“I received the final proposal from the English team on Monday, with a transfer fee satisfying enough for us to release Ji,” he said.
The fee is undisclosed but the Echo understands that Sunderland have had to offer a seven-figure sum in order to get their man.