South Korea international Ki Sung-yueng has been targeted by new Everton manager Roberto Martinez as a potential loan signing. The midfielder — Swansea City’s record buy when he moved from Celtic almost exactly a year ago — has been granted permission to seek another club and is keen to remain within the Premier League according to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castle.
Everton, whose finances are once again limited as they wait for Manchester United to increase their offer for Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines, are currently Ki’s preferred option. Sunderland, having already recruited 11 new players as part of Paolo Di Canio’s radical restructure of the club’s senior squad, have also made an approach for the 24-year-old.
Martinez has pursued Ki for over a year, having failed in an attempt to bring the Korean from Celtic Park to Wigan Athletic last summer. The Spaniard’s previous club, however, were unable to match a deal in which Swansea promised to pay Celtic a transfer fee of up to £5.5million, including performance-related variables.
Though Ki started 20 of Swansea’s Premier League fixtures last season and helped the Welsh club win the League Cup Final while operating out of position as a central defender, his working relationship with Michael Laudrup has been strained. So far this campaign he has been used only as a substitute by the Dane.
A regular for his national side and a fluent English speaker because of an Australian secondary education, Ki has two years remaining on a Swansea contract worth £35,000 a week.