SUNDERLAND are pressing South Korean striker Ji Dong-won and his club Chunnam Dragons to make their minds up about a move to Sunderland after it emerged PSV Eindhoven have also tabled an offer for the player.
The Dutch giants are strong suitors for the 20-year-old international and Dong-won admits that he is torn between which is the right club for him to join at this stage of his career.
But with the Dragons also unclear which bid they favour, Sunderland will push for progress to be swiftly made so that the Black Cats can move forward with their squad rebuilding with or without the exciting young striker.
Black Cats legal director Margaret Byrne said. “We are still waiting for Chunnam’s official response.
“There are many things to be cleared if Ji needs to be in our pre-season tour and we can’t just sit and wait.”
PSV have a proven track record of developing Korean talent having previously signed Manchester United’s Park Ji-Sung and former Spurs defender Lee Young-Pyo.
The club is seen as a good breeding ground for Asian talent and Dong-won is aware of PSV’s pedigree.
His concern, though, is making the right choice in terms of which is the best league to go to and where he will get most first-team opportunities.
He revealed: “My team and agent are still negotiating closely.
“I personally want to play for the best team I can and where I can get more chances to play.
“Eindhoven is a great club that often tops the league. However, I heard that the Dutch league is not like the old days.
“Sunderland is a mid-level team, so there is always change in the squad.
“But they are playing on the big stage called the Premier League.”
Dong-won has emerged as hot property after scoring four goals at the 2011 Asian Cup and PSV are believed to have offered a marginally better bid than the £800,000 offered by Sunderland.
There is clearly now some way to go and some negotiating to do before Dong-won’s future is resolved but Sunderland do not see the need for the talks to drag on and will push for a swift resolution.
The Black Cats are heavily involved in a string of potential deals for new blood and accept that horse-trading and interests from other clubs is all part of the process.
But the Sunderland hierarchy are united in their desire to ideally get players in in time for the start of pre-season training early next month and will push where they can to avoid what they see as unnecessary delays.