Sport | Football

Park or Miyaichi in Al Ain’s sights

Source confirms mystery Premier League target is Asian and from Arsenal

  • By Ashley Hammond Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 July 19, 2012
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • Park Chu-young, seen here in action for French outfit Monaco, could be a target for Etisalat Pro League side Al Ain.

Al Ain: Arsenal’s Park Chu-young or Ryo Miyaichi are on Al Ain’s wish-list to replace Yassir Al Qah’tani for a season on loan, according to a club source.

Information revealed Tuesday suggested Al Ain have been locked in talks for the past 12 days with a mystery English Premier League player set to replace Saudi striker Al Qah’tani.

Lyon’s Michel Bastos is already a confirmed target to fill in for outgoing Argentine midfielder Ignaccio Scocco.

Names were not disclosed regarding the Premier League player, but when pressed for details by Gulf News a source close to the club revealed the player was “Asian and plays for Arsenal”.

By a process of elimination this leaves 27-year-old South Korean striker Park, formerly of FC Seoul and Monaco, or 19-year-old Japanese striker Miyaichi, who has enjoyed recent loan spells at Feyenoord and Bolton Wanderers.

Park is the more likely option given recent hints at a move away from the Emirates Stadium after just one goal in six appearances last season.

Following reported interest from Queens Park Rangers, Park said: “There’s no progress. There’s no offer so I have nothing to consider. If an offer comes, then I’ll consider it. Right now, I don’t want to think about Arsenal [because of the forthcoming Olympics].”

Arsenal reportedly want Park off their wage bill despite having only signed the Daegu-born forward last year.

Meanwhile, the ongoing saga surrounding Robin Van Persie’s future at the club, following the purchase of strikers Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski, could also mean there’s no room for future promise Miyaichi.

Having been at Arsenal for two years, Miyaichi has only played twice for the Gunners. He scored once in 14 games on loan at Bolton last season, and three from 12 starts at Feyenoord the season before.

Afetr missing out on a spot in Japan’s Olympic team squad this summer, Miyaichi, who was widely considered to be one of his country’s next big hopes when joining Arsenal in 2010, will surely be on the prowl for first team football be it on loan or otherwise.

Bolton boss Owen Coyle said of Miyaichi last season: “He has more than just one strength. He has pace and two great feet. He has football intelligence for such a young man and he’s driven to be the best he can be.”

Al Ain’s negotiations with Arsenal come as little surprise following similar interest in the Gunner’s out-of-favour Moroccan forward Marouane Chamakh, 28, earlier this summer.

But with Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan and Romanian defender Mirel Radoi retained, and negotiations for Brazilian midfielder Michel Bastos in full swing, Al Ain now only need to fill their Asian quota to complete their allowance of four overseas stars.

Gulf News
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