Swansea City have today completed the club record transfer of midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng from Celtic for an undisclosed fee, subject to a work permit and international clearance.
The South Korean international has signed a three-year contract after completing his medical and relevant paperwork at the Liberty today.
The 23-year-old, who becomes the most expensive footballer in South Korean history, won’t be part of Michael Laudrup’s squad for Saturday’s Premier League clash with West Ham United, although he will watch on from the stands.
Ki, who scored the final penalty in the Olympic quarter-final shootout against Team GB before helping his nation to a bronze medal, said his move to Swansea was an easy decision to make.
“When I look at Swansea I see a club that is growing and growing, and the style here is very attractive to me,” he said.
“Last year I watched them a lot in the Premier League and they did things very differently to a lot of the other teams. They wanted to keep the ball and pass it around, which I love to do. When they didn’t have the ball they worked so hard to get it back quickly.
“It was very impressive, and I think I can grow as a player here and help the club move forward.
“The manager is another big attraction. I remember watching him when I was younger and I was amazed by how good he was.
“Now I want to learn from him in order to help me become a better player. I learned a lot at Celtic – it helped me become more of an all-round player.
“This is something I have dreamt about since I was a child – playing in the Premier League against the best players in the world. I can’t wait to play my first game.”
While Ki looks forward to his first Swans appearance, possibly in the Capital One Cup match against Barnsley on Tuesday, he has already experienced the Liberty roar having featured in the Celtic side that went down 2-0
And he is looking forward to feeling the full force of the Jack Army in Saturday’s first home league match against the Hammers.
Looking out onto the pitch, he reflected: “I remember playing here for Celtic and the fans here made a lot of noise. This is a lovely stadium.
“I can’t wait to get out there and be a part of the team. But first I will enjoy watching the game on Saturday.”
Ki started his career at FC Seoul after spending four years in Australia, and was named the Asian Young Footballer of the Year in 2009.
He caught the attention of a number of top clubs in Europe, and eventually joined Celtic in January 2010.
While at the Hoops, Ki was named man-of-the-match after scoring in the 2011 Scottish Cup final win over Motherwell before helping them to the league title earlier this year.
Named the Korean FA’s footballer of the year in 2011, he starred in his nation’s third-place finish in the London Olympics, where he played against new team-mates Neil Taylor and Scott Sinclair.
Swansea City chairman, Huw Jenkins, said: “Having lost Joe Allen recently, it was vital that we invested the money wisely by bringing quality young footballers into the club with potential to grow further.
“Ki fulfils that criteria and everyone in the football club is excited about the prospect of him playing and developing with us.
“His tactical awareness and quality has been there for everyone to see, especially playing for his country, and he is well suited to our style of football.
“He has a good educational background behind him from his time in Australia and the few years he has spent at Celtic will make it easier for him to settle quickly and become accustomed to life over here.
“I know he is looking forward to the challenge of playing for the club and Premier League football. We see him as the perfect fit for Swansea City.”
Watch the full, exclusive video interview with Ki now on Swans Player HERE
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