UPDATE: CHOI YONGSOO HAS DENIED THE MANY CONVINCING REPORTS THAT HE WILL MOVE TO JIANGSU SAINTY. He has said that leaving mid-season would be “irresponsible”.
Everything below is false. Thanks, Korean media.
In rather shocking and unexpected news today, just hours after leading his side to a 4-2 victory in Jeju, against a team who is immensely hard to defeat when they are at home, Choi Yongsoo packed his bags, said “Jalgayo!” and hopped over to China, resigning (not read: re-signing) as manager of FC Seoul and becoming the new gaffer of CSL side Jiangsu Sainty.
Apparently, Choi was in negotiations with Jiangsu Sainty for over two weeks, but fervently resisted a move to China. It would take quite a bit to budge the manager from Seoul, as he had played over 100 times for the club as a player and had been the bench boss of the club for 5 years.
However, money talks, and it seems that that was the reason why the former Asian Manager of the Year is leaving FC Seoul. He’s to be paid 1.78 million USD (a lot) at Jiangsu and his contract will be of 18 months. The timing for the move is strange, however, as FC Seoul are currently 4th in the table, and Jiangsu Sainty are 6th in the CSL. Regardless, the departure of Choi has most people off guard, though I suppose it can’t hurt to have a Korean manager trying to outwit the likes of Luis Felipe Scolari.
FC Seoul will have to scramble to find a replacement manager in the coming days. Not ideal for a side beginning to find its feet again in the K League after their customary slow start and scoring drought.
The 41 year-old leaves the club with 109 wins, 60 draws and just 47 losses at his tenure in the capital city as manager. That leaves his win percentage just over 52%. He led FC Seoul to a K League win in 2012.
I’ll update the blog tomorrow with quick recaps for this round 19…