Hong Kong Premier League giants Kitchee have indicated that a deal with Lion City Sailors striker Kim Shin-wook is about to be closed in a matter of days.
Kim’s exit is the latest in a string of departures from the Sailors following the end of the 2022 season where the club finished second behind Albirex Niigata.
Kim’s potential exit from the Sailors was made known through Hong Kong news outlet South China Morning Post (SCMP) through club president Ken Ng Kin.
34-year-old Kim is said to be on a free transfer and while club sources told SCMP that the deal “could be done in a matter of days”, Ng said that “nothing is real until the contract is signed and the player is photographed with the new jersey.”
When he was announced in November 2021, Kim’s $3 million three-year deal with the Lion City Sailors was said to be a Singapore Premier League record.
In a statement disseminated by the club, Kim said “I feel it is the right time for me to explore some new opportunities to continue challenging myself.
“I have enjoyed my time as a Sailor and I wish the team nothing but the best in the season ahead.
“I will be continuing to support Sailors as always.”
Kim began the 2022 season for the Sailors in the best way possible as it was his two goals which aided the Sailors 2-1 defeat of Albirex Niigata which helped the Sailors lift the AIA Community Shield in February 2022.
He was brought to Singapore by former Sailors coach Kim Do-hoon, who parted ways with the Sailors in August 2022 following the head-butting incident with Tampines Rovers assistant coach Mustafic Fahrudin.
The lanky striker’s exit from the Sailors comes at the back of an exodus which included goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, Shahdan Sulaiman, Gabriel Quak, Faris Ramli, among others and a host of backroom staff.
Even Lions midfielder Song Ui-young has left to join Thai Premier League side Nongbua Pitchaya.
With the Sailors, Kim found the net on 21 occasions in 26 league outings.
He has also scored 16 goals in 56 appearances for Korea Republic and was part of the squad which finished the 2011 Asian Cup in third spot and also featured at the 2014 and 2018 Fifa World Cup in Brazil and Russia respectively.
Sailors skipper Hariss Harun said on the club’s website that Kim was a “consummate professional, a good presence in the dressing room, and a fighter out on the pitch.”
“We wish him the best in the next chapter of his career, and we’ll be following him closely too,” said the Lions skipper.
MAIN PHOTO: Football Association of Singapore
Story updated with Sailors quotes on 30 January at 1.45pm.