Ki Sung-yeung chooses Swansea City as his destination

Neil Lennon hopes to use some of the funds from the sale to boost his squad.
Ki Sung-yeung is on his way to Swansea City.
Ki Sung-yeung is on his way to Swansea City.

Ki Sung-yeung has agreed to join Swansea City in a club-record transfer from Glasgow Celtic.

The South Korea international took several days to commit himself to the Welsh club amid interest from elsewhere in the Premier League.

None of the 23 year old's other suitors matched an offer from Swansea that should ultimately earn £5.5 million (Dh32m) to Celtic, however, and the midfielder has been convinced to leave Glasgow for south-west Wales to join Michael Laudrup's side.

Ki's new contract there will be worth £35,000 a week.

"He'll come over here and hopefully on Friday we can get things finalised," said Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins yesterday. "We've agreed everything in principle."

Though Celtic, the Scottish champions, are close to qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League following a 2-0 midweek victory at Swedish side Helsingborg, Ki's sale reflects the club's policy of importing and developing young foreign talent before moving them on for a profit.

Ki had just one full season remaining on his contract at Celtic, who are well provisioned with central midfielders.

"It will help fund the debt," said Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager, of the deal. "We have to get the debt down a little bit so that will help towards that. We will see where we go after these two [Champions League] games and see what money we have to spend, if any at all.

"I might get some of it [the transfer fee], I don't know. One, I don't know what the fee will be and two, I don't know how much we will use to service the debt.

"It is unfortunate to lose a quality player but that has been our strategy at the club for the last two or three years, cultivate these players and eventually move them on if they want to go."

Ki was part of South Korea's Olympic squad and has played close to 50 full internationals for his country.

He took his secondary education in Australia to become fluent in English and prepare for a professional career in Europe, and was signed by Celtic from FC Seoul for £2.1m in 2009.

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Published: August 23, 2012 04:00 AM


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