Manchester United move to secure Jisung Park's longterm future
23 July 2009 08:23
Park, set to face FC Seoul as United play the third game of their Far East tour on Friday, has met up with the squad in South Korea after being handed an extended summer break by manager Sir Alex Ferguson due to international duty during the summer.
The 28-year-old currently has just 12 months left on his current deal at United, despite emerging as a key player last season.
No deal has yet been struck to keep the former PSV Eindhoven player at United, but chief executive David Gill insists that moves are afoot to secure Park's long-term future.
Speaking in Seoul this morning, Gill said: "Those discussions will take place. We are looking to extend the contract, but there is no timing on it.
"Sir Alex (Ferguson) and his coaches very happy with him and we are looking to extend the deal, but there is no news at the moment.
"When there is something to announce, we will do so."
United enjoy huge popularity in South Korea and Gill admits that Park's presence only boosts their standing amongst the locals.
He said: "Ji was bought for football reasons obviously, but his presence has helped our commercial situation in the country without doubt.
"We have built a relationship with Kumho Tires, who are sponsoring the game, and Seoul Metropolitan Government and those commercial partners are very important to us."
When United last played in Seoul two years ago, Park was forced to miss the game due to a cruciate ligament injury.
But Ferguson admits that Park will play some part against his fellow countrymen tomorrow.
Ferguson said: "A decision will be taken on Friday about Ji-sung Park, but I'm sure he will be able to play some minutes.
"He hasn't been with us and done the same preparation as most of players, but he will be involved at some point and I'm sure that will give the supporters here a really big lift.
"He was injured and didn't play last time we were here, but I think he still won the man of the match award!
"When a local lad like JSP has left country to play and excel for Man U, at the very highest, the adulation he receives in own country is obvious.
"He has also been star of national team for few years. It is a football nation too, so when he comes back, the reaction is understandable."