N.Korean Wayne Rooney signs for S.Korean club

03 January 2013 03:46

Burly striker Jong Tae-Se will become only the fourth North Korean to play in South Korea's top league when he signs for Suwon Samsung Bluewings next week.

Japan-born Jong, 28, who currently plays for FC Koln in the second division of the German Bundesliga, has been likened to Wayne Rooney because of his combative style.

"We've reached an agreement with Koln to transfer Jong to us. Jong will arrive here as early as next Monday for a medical test. If he passes the test, we will sign a contract with him," Suwon general manager Lee Ho-Seung told AFP.

Suwon will pay Koln 300,000 euros ($395,850) as a transfer fee, Lee said. Yonhap news agency said Jong's annual salary would be about 400 million won ($376,000).

Jong was born in Japan to a South Korean father and a North Korean mother, but has a North Korean passport.

He made his professional debut with Kawasaki Frontale in Japan's J-League in 2006 and won his first cap for North Korea in 2007. He was part of the national squad that qualified and played in the 2010 World Cup.

Jong has racked up 15 goals in 28 games for North Korea, but his club scoring record has been lacklustre since moving to Germany in 2010.

The last North Korean to play in the K-League was An Yong-Hak -- also Japanese-born -- who played for two different South Korean clubs from 2006 to 2009.

Suwon are one of the most popular clubs in the country and have won the K-league four times.

Source: AFP