WIGAN Athletic have confirmed the signing of South Korea international Kim Bo-kyung.
The 25-year-old recently secured a release from Cardiff City, and has therefore been able to sign for Latics outside the transfer window as a free agent.
It’s understood Kim has turned his back on a mega-money offer from overseas, as well as another offer from a rival Championship club, to join Latics.
The deal is subject to international clearance but it’s hoped he will be eligible to make his debut against promotion-chasing Bournemouth at the DW Stadium tomorrow.
Boss Malky Mackay gave the player his big chance in British football when he took him to Cardiff from Cerezo Osaka in 2012.
Kim was subsequently involved in the texts that were exchanged between Mackay and Iain Moody during their time with the Bluebirds, that are still being investigated by the Football Association.
But his desire to join up again with his former boss suggests he has been unaffected by the situation.
“I am very happy to be joining up with the gaffer again,” said Kim. “I really enjoyed working with him in the past and he helped me so much in my career. He gave me the chance to fulfil my dream of playing in England and I am now looking forward so much to working with him again.
“We had various offers from the UK and abroad but when the chance came to be with the gaffer again at Wigan, this really was the only place I wanted to come. “The other players have all made me welcome already. The atmosphere in the dressing room seems very good, there is a nice feeling with all the lads and we now have to keep working hard to pick up as many points as we can and start climbing the league table.”
Kim’s agent Yeung-Joong Lee said: “When Kim Bo first joined Cardiff in 2012, Malky showed him so much warmth and understanding and helped him integrate into the British culture, on and off the field. This experience made the decision to come to Wigan now a very easy one.”
The attacking midfielder has 30 international caps to his name, scoring three times, and was earmarked by one-time Manchester United star and South Korean hero Ji-sung Park as his long-term successor in the national side.
He represented his country at both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups as well as the 2012 Olympics, where he scored a winning goal against Switzerland in the group stage on the way to their eventual bronze-medal finish.
That summer he joined Cardiff for £2.5million, helping the South Wales club win promotion to the Premier League in his first season.
Kim played in 28 of Cardiff’s 38 Premier League matches last term, the highlight being a last-gasp equaliser in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United in November 2013.
He was also a second-half substitute in their 2-1 FA Cup fifth-round defeat at the hands of Latics last March.
This season, however, saw him fall out of favour under Russell Slade, and he made only five appearances - three of them in the Capital One Cup - before seeing his contract cancelled by mutual consent last month.
Kim becomes Wigan’s eighth signing of 2015, following the arrivals of Liam Ridgewell, Chris Herd, Jason Pearce, Billy Mckay, Sheyi Ojo, Gaetan Bong and Leon Clarke.
Predominantly left-footed, he offers a real cutting edge down the flanks as well as a real goal threat - something Latics are crying out for at present.