Man Utd to offer Park new contract

The hard-working Park Ji-Sung is to be rewarded with a new contract by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

updated: July 24, 2009 17:51 IST
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The hard-working Park Ji-Sung is to be rewarded with a new contract by Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who praised the South Korean midfielder's intelligence and penetration on the field.

Chief executive David Gill made the announcement at a press conference here Thursday, a day ahead of the Premier League champions' pre-season game against FC Seoul.

"Discussions will take place," Gill said of a player who became the first Asian to contest a Champions League final when he played in United's 2-0 defeat to Barcelona last season.

"We're looking to extend the contract. Sir Alex and the coaches are very happy with him and Ji enjoys his time with us immensely.

"When it's done it will be announced."

Park moved to Old Trafford in 2005 from PSV Eindhoven for four million pounds (6.6 million dollars) and his current contract runs out at the end of the forthcoming season.

When asked if he wanted to play at another club, he said in May: "I have no reason to move."

He has been crucial to United building a huge fan base in South Korea and despite a lack of preparation, is expected to play a part of their match here on Friday.

"I feel he may be able to play some minutes but he's not been with us (for the last few weeks) so he's not done the same preparation as the rest of the players," said Ferguson.

"But I'm sure he'll get a few minutes and that will be a big lift to the fans here in Korea."

Park has made 123 appearances for United and Ferguson took time to reflect on the qualities that first attracted him to the 28-year-old.

"I went to see him play for PSV in two quarter-finals and we identified a player with great understanding of space," he said.

"When his team had the ball his movement was always clever and he had decisive penetration in attacking areas.

"We felt at the time that we needed a player who could penetrate in the last third and that's why we brought him to Manchester United.

"In his time with us he's developed his technical and tactical abilities and done very well. He's become a very important player for us and had a fantastic career with us."