South Korean striker Lee Dong-Gook is talking to five Japanese teams including Kyoto Purple Sanga after being released by English Premier League side Middlesbrough this week, his agent said on Thursday.
“We cannot disclose all the teams under negotiation but we plan to make our pick within the next three months,” Kim Ki-Hoon told Yonhap news agency.
“We believe we have no need to hurry, although we hope for the earliest deal possible.”
The 29-year-old played for South Korea’s Pohang Steelers before moving to England in January 2007. He said Wednesday on his return home that he plans to sign with a team where he can fully utilise his potential.
“I will join a club where I’m wanted and I can be of help. I’ll take my time to weigh up my decision,” he said, adding he has learnt a lot in the highly competitive Premier League.
Lee struggled to break into the first team at the Riverside Stadium after his free transfer from the Pohang Steelers. He scored only twice in 29 appearances and had not played for the side since February.
“We took a chance on signing Dong-Gook at a time when money was tight,” manager Gareth Southgate told the club’s website. “By his own admission he didn’t play as well as he thought he could, but he was never a minute’s problem.
“He has offers from clubs in Japan and possibly Germany so we wish him well.”
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