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Reigning pro football champs sign defender on loan from Chinese club

All Headlines 10:58 January 14, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- Reigning South Korean pro football champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors said Sunday they have signed defender Hong Jeong-ho on loan from a Chinese club.

The K League Classic winners said that Hong will play for them this year on loan from Chinese Super League (CSL) outfit Jiangsu Suning. The 28-year-old center back will soon join Jeonbuk squad that is currently training in Okinawa, Japan.

Hong will return to the K League for the first time since 2013. He made his pro debut with Jeju United in 2009 and moved to German Bundesliga side FC Augsburg four years later. He joined Jiangsu in 2016.

Hong last year did not get much playing time at Jiangsu following CSL's tightened foreign player rule. He was looking for permanent transfer to the K League, but his high transfer fee made Jeonbuk pursue a loan deal, according to the club officials.

Hong will join his older brother and goalkeeper Hong Jeong-nam who has been playing for Jeonbuk since 2007.

"I'm very honored to play for Jeonbuk, the best team in the K League," Hong Jeong-ho said. "I will give my best efforts for Jeonbuk to win the K League and the Asian Football Confederation Champions League this year."

Hong, who boasts 188-centimeter frame, will also eye a national team comeback following his return to the domestic league. Hong made 41 appearances for South Korea, but he has not played for the Taeguk Warriors since June 2017.

South Korea men's national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong on Monday will announce squad for pre-World Cup training in Antalya, Turkey. Shin previously said he will take players from the K League and other Asian leagues for Turkey training.

This photo provided by South Korean football club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors shows Hong Jeong-ho. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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