February 8 – Former Manchester United and England midfielder Jesse Lingard has signed for K League outfit FC Seoul, less than a month after the 31-year-old was optimistically offered to FC Barcelona.
Lingard has signed for the Korean side on a two-year contract, with the option to extend for another year, after being without a club since his one-year deal at Nottingham Forest expired in the summer.
Lingard said he had received “many offers” but had decided he wanted a new football experience in South Korea.
“I’ve always wanted a different challenge and to create new memories in my career,” Lingard said in a YouTube video.
“I believe South Korea is the perfect place for that.”
Reports suggest his contract will make him the highest paid player in the country at £17,500 a week – still a far cry from the £100,000-a-week deal he signed with Manchester United in 2017.
The player has received criticism in the past for his poor work ethic whilst at Manchester United, building his reputation around a string of over-the-top celebrations no doubt practiced on the dancefloor.
Lingard said that FC Seoul’s eagerness to secure his signing before the transfer news became public on the deadline day in England played a significant role in convincing him to make the move.
“FC Seoul showed me great passion, sending me a concrete offer on paper while other clubs were contacting me verbally,” Lingard said at a news conference.
“They also came to Manchester to check my physical condition as well.”
The move to the South Korean capital also opens a number of doors for Lingard’s various business ambitions, including in esports, fashion and the restaurant industry. That being said, he insists that action on the pitch is his main priority.
“I’ll focus on football, my personal business is nothing to do with football. The most important thing to me is football,” he said.
FC Seoul will be hoping to improve on their 7th-placed finish last campaign which saw them miss out on a playoff spot by a single point. Perhaps their newest acquisition is the boost they need to break back into form.
Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at email@example.com