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Park Ji-sung completes move to ex-team in Dutch league: sources
SEOUL, Aug. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korean footballer Park Ji-sung has completed his return to his former club PSV Eindhoven in the top Dutch league on a loan from Queens Park Rangers (QPR) in England, sources here confirmed on Tuesday.

   "Park signed his agreement earlier this morning, Korean time," a source close to Park said. "He will be on a one-year loan, just as he'd wanted."

   Rumors of Park's move back to the Netherlands first surfaced in late July, when Dutch media reported that the midfielder had undergone a medical test and was close to finalizing the transaction.

   The two sides wrangled over terms of Park's move, with the player seeking a loan deal while PSV wanted a complete transfer, before the club relented.

   According to the source, PSV, operating under a hard salary cap of 1 million euros (US$1.3 million) per player, couldn't afford to match Park's salary with QPR. The source said the Dutch side will pay Park him the max amount, while QPR will give Park an equivalent of another 500 million won ($448,000). He made an estimated 7 billion won with QPR last season.

   Another source with JS Founation, Park's football foundation in South Korea, said Park is scheduled to join PSV sometime this week.

   The 32-year-old played for PSV from 2003 to 2005. He had previously played for Kyoto Purple Sanga in Japan's J. League, but after his breakout performance at the 2002 FIFA World Cup under head coach Guus Hiddink, the Dutchman took the South Korean star with him to the Netherlands upon being named the new coach of Eindhoven.

   Park played for the Dutch club until 2005 before moving to Manchester United to become the first South Korean in the English Premier League. During his tenure with the top English side, Park earned a nickname "Three-Lung Park" for his tireless work ethic and energy on the field.

   Then after the 2011-12 season, Park signed with QPR. He began the new season as QPR's new captain, but things quickly turned sour as Park struggled with injuries and was later stripped of his captaincy.

   QPR finished dead last among 20 Premier League clubs and was relegated to the second division for the upcoming season. Park's contract with QPR expires at the end of next June.

   In the last season, PSV finished second in the top Dutch circuit, called Eredivisie, right behind Ajax. The 2013-14 season kicked off last weekend, and PSV defeated ADO Den Haag 3-2 on the road. The team's first home game will be on Sunday against NEC.

   Park is one of only eight South Koreans to have played at least 100 international matches. He played and scored in three straight FIFA World Cups. He retired from international play in January 2011.

   jeeho@yna.co.kr
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