Rafa Benitez is the coach of Dalian Yifang these days and Ki Sung-Yeung could reportedly swap the Premier League for the CSL.
Ki Sung-Yeung could be set for a reunion with Rafael Benitez at Dalian Yifang, according to Goal, after the experienced midfielder brought a premature end to his time at Newcastle United.
A South Korean international who was once one of the first names on the team-sheet under Benitez fell down the pecking order rapidly as soon as the Spaniard was replaced by Steve Bruce in the St James’ Park dugout.
KI played just 136 minutes of Premier League football this season and, following the arrival of Nabil Bentaleb and the emergence of the Longstaff brothers, Newcastle made the move to cancel the 31-year-old’s £60,000-a-week contract on the final day of the January transfer window.
And, according to reports coming out of Asia, a reunion between Ki and Benitez could be on the cards in the Far East.
The former Champions League winner is now coaching Chinese Super League outfit Dalian Yifang and, according to Goal, they are one of the clubs interested in offering Ki a fresh start. The former Swansea and Celtic ball-player would also link up with Salomon Rondon again, if he chooses a move to China over the Middle-East and a return to Korea.
“He can pass well and make the right decisions. That is important for us,” Benitez told The Chronicle in 2018 of a player who impressed in a number six role at St James’ Park last season.
“He has experience too. I think he has more composure on the ball and does well.”
At 31, Ki is entering the autumn of his career and it is difficult to argue that Newcastle have not made the right decision in prioritising youth in the midfield area.
A classy and composed midfielder still has a lot left to offer, however, and he would be a fine addition for any Premier League side in need of someone capable of controlling the tempo in the centre of the park.