먹튀검증Yang Hyun-jun, who clashed with the club demanding to be allowed to move to Celtic (Scotland), has dramatically reconciled with K League 1 Gangwon FC CEO Kim Byung-ji.
“On the 5th, CEO Kim Byung-ji met with Yang Hyun-jun and had a heartfelt conversation, and we decided to completely review the ‘no summer transfer’ policy,” said a Kangwon club official.
“The misunderstanding between the player and the club was also resolved. We concluded that we should respect each other and do our best in our respective positions.”
For Yang, this means another chance to play in Europe.
Scottish giants Celtic decided to sign Yang in May and subsequently tried to negotiate with Gangwon.
But for Gangwon, who have not won in 10 games (three draws and seven defeats) since their away win over Jeonbuk Hyundai on 29 April, the loss of their ace would be a significant burden.
For a city club suffering from “existential fear” that its budget could be drastically cut if it is relegated to the second tier, the “triumphant decision” to send key resources overseas to help South Korean football compete was a far cry.
Even with billions of won in transfer fees, it is not easy to find a “proven resource” who can adapt to the K League as well as Yang Hyun-joon.
After gathering opinions from various departments within the club, Kim’s conclusion was to allow a winter transfer, even if it meant accepting a lower transfer fee, and to let Yang play for six more months before the winter transfer window opened, but Celtic refused and negotiations stalled.
With his dream move to Europe in jeopardy, Yang’s mind was racing.
“I want to play in Europe with my daring and aggressiveness,” Yang told reporters after the away match against Suwon FC on the 25th of last month, “and it’s easier to adapt to the new season if I change teams in the summer transfer market.”
After the away match against Incheon United on the 2nd, he told the media in the joint press area, “If the transfer fee is not enough, I will offer my salary,” and claimed that Kim was avoiding the interview.
It was a remark that did not sit well with those at the top of the club, including Kim, who had been at loggerheads with Yang’s agent, who had been pushing for a move since Celtic’s offer.
Amid observations that the relationship between the two sides was on a downward spiral following Yang’s unusual ‘precipitation’, the club finally took the initiative.
“A full review means that we have decided to consider Celtic’s offer positively,” the official explained.
It is unclear at this stage whether a deal will be completed, but it is likely that talks with Celtic will resume.
If the stalled talks are finalised and the move to Celtic is successful, Yang will join forces with South Korea international striker Oh Hyun-gyu, who joined from Suwon Samsung in January this year.