Earlier this morning it was announced that Ji Dong Won had signed for FC Augsburg once again for an “undisclosed fee”. Sunderland’s twitter annouced it and so did kicker, so it was definitely legitimate news. Amazing move right? Especially before a World Cup where we’re unlikely to see Park Ju Young. An in-form JDW is, after all, our second choice lone forward.
News from Augsburg’s official website soon came in announcing that Ji had signed a contract for … 6 months? A deal that expired in Summer 2014? Did Ji purely want minutes before the World Cup and hope a team picks him up from there? Or was there another deal in the works?
An excerpt from the Sunderland echo:
Borussia made an inquiry about Ji’s situation at the start of this month but Augsburg moved in quickly with a firm and acceptable offer and have taken over the player’s contract until the end of the season where they hope he will pen a new deal with them – although Dortmund would be free in the summer to come in for him again.
Augsburg and Borussia would both have preferred to sign Ji when he was a free agent in the summer but Augsburg have decided it is worth investing in him now to get him on board and look to convince him his future lies in Bavaria.
It seemed as if Borussia Dortmund, who had always coveted JDW, had yet again missed out on another Korean player for like the 5th time.Or so Sunderland thought.
Later today Skyports Germany announced that in a couple of hours Borussia Dortmund would soon reveal their summer signing. They revealed nothing except that they would be signing a striker. JDW maybe?
So what happened between Sunderland, Augsburg, and Dortmund? Earlier this season it was revealed that Dortmund placed a bid for JDW this summer, but was rejected by Di Canio. Sunderland also constantly asked for more money from Dortmund, hoping to get more money from a player who apparently is highly rated in the Bundesliga. It looks like Dortmund, still persistent in their pursuit of JDW (I like that), found a way to get around Sunderland’s negotiating tactics through Augsburg. This way, Ji wouldn’t be rusty before arriving in Borussia, he would most likely play minutes in the world cup, and by having Augsburg sign JDW (most likely with financial backing from Dortmund), could circumvent Sunderland’s constant price inflation.
In any case, this was a very shrewd move on all sides except Sunderland, but Sunderland didn’t need Ji and didn’t plan on playing him anyway. Kind of reminiscent of Ryu Seung Woo’s transfer, who by the way has adapted very well to Leverkusen, has scored goals already, and will likely feature occasionally in the first team. Fascinating to see Augsburg and Dortmund cooperate like this, isn’t it?
Look forward to 1). JDW scoring goals once again with an improved Augsburg side, and even better, 2). JDW IN A DORTMUND SHIRT