Park on verge of new Manchester United deal

Park Ji-sung is set to sign a lucrative new Manchester United contract during the early weeks of the season.

The South Korean's present deal expires next summer, but the 28-year-old has already proved his worth in four successful years at Old Trafford following a £2m move from PSV Eindhoven.

And although United chief executive David Gill has refused to put a timescale on negotiations, it is anticipated a new deal will be signed shortly.

"We are looking to extend Park's contract because Alex is very happy with him," said Gill.

"When we signed Ji-sung Park it was for footballing reasons. But, without a doubt, it has had an impact on our commercial activity in South Korea.

"We have one million credit and debit cards here, which is phenomenal and the enthusiasm of the fans is second to none."

Park's popularity will be emphasised at the World Cup Stadium against FC Seoul this evening, when he comes on as a substitute for the last half an hour or so.

As he has only just returned from a summer break extended due to his World Cup commitments, which continued until the middle of June, Park is behind the rest of his team-mates in fitness terms.

But his boundless energy is sure to make up for that on a tour that heads for Hangzhou in China on Sunday before returning to Europe for Bayern Munich's Audi Cup on Wednesday and Thursday.

And when he does emerge in Seoul, Asia's player of the year can expect a reaction equal to anything David Beckham had been used to before his out-of-character confrontation with LA Galaxy fans earlier this week.

"When a local lad like Ji-sung has left his country to play for Manchester United - and not just play but excel at the very highest level - then it's obvious he will receive adulation in his home country," said Sir Alex Ferguson.

"In addition, he has been a star of his national team for some years now.

"Korea is a football nation. so the reaction when he comes back is understandable."

Park's presence should help ease the blow of not having Cristiano Ronaldo to cheer, as the Korean fans had in their capital on United's first visit two years ago, when he scored the first of what turned out to be four unanswered goals.

Few are critical of United's decision to offload the 24-year-old for a world record £80million.

However, his departure is not going to be merely glossed over.

Ferguson knows he will have to adjust his team. And he is aware the Koreans will miss him.

"The most significant difference this time is that there's no Cristiano Ronaldo and the fans will miss him," said Ferguson.

"But we are still at a very high standard and hopefully this season we will continue that way.

"There is a great desire for us to maintain the high standard of success Manchester United deserves."

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas