Korea national team defender Cho Yong-Hyung, who recently signed a lucrative deal with the Qatari side Al Rayyan, is supposedly headed to Spain in two years.
Following the confirmation of his move to Qatar, Cho told the Korean press that there is a precondition in his contract with Al Rayyan which will allow him to move to Malaga CF of the Spanish La Liga on free transfer in 2012. Such agreement was made possible due to Abdulla bin Nasser Al Thani‘s dual ownership of the two clubs.
“I’ve never thought about the prospect of going to Qatar after the World Cup, but the opportunity to play in Spain in the future was too good to turn down,” said Cho. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to play in Europe, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Playing well for Al Rayyan is my priority for now.”
Playing in Spain has been a life-long dream for Cho as he has mentioned a numerous times in the past that he prefers a move to La Liga over anywhere else in Europe. At the same time, Malaga’s interest in signing Korean players has been growing after they initially showed interest in signing Lee Keun-Ho prior to last season.
However, there’s a great deal of skepticism surrounding the center-back’s preplanned move to Spain for various reasons. For one, his transfer to Malaga will likely be dead immediately if he doesn’t see out the two-year contract with Al Rayyan due to poor performance or any other issues off the pitch, which occur commonly among foreign players and managers in the Middle East.
Cho, 26, also hasn’t served his two-year military duty. He’s currently waiting to be exempt after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery last year, but Korea’s Ministry of National Defense has yet to provide a firm decision on his request. MND’s refusal would automatically cancel his 2012 move to Malaga as footballers in Korea are required to serve in the military before the age of 28 in order for them to maintain their professional status.