Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Was Right to Reject Bid for Striker Ji, Says Di Canio

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I Was Right to Reject Bid for Striker Ji, Says Di Canio

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter Sports Writer james.hunter@ncjmedia.co.uk

PAOLO Di Canio is convinced his decision to reject a PS5m bid for Ji Dong-Won will be vindicated.

Ji had been expected to leave this summer after making no impact in his time on Wearside, although he did enjoy a successful loan spell in Germany with Augsberg last season which opened the door to a move to the Continent.

However, Black Cats boss Di Canio has revealed that it was his decision to block the sale when a Bundesliga side - thought to be Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund - came in for the South Korean striker.

The chance to more than double their money on a player who cost around PS2m when he joined from Chunnam Dragons in 2011, and who is in the final year of his contract on Wearside, must have been a tempting offer.

But Di Canio believes Ji will have a role to play at Sunderland this season.

"It [the decision to reject the bid] came from me," he said. "I was responsible and it should be that way because I'm the manager.

"I can argue with my club in different situations and if I say 'yes', it means they have accepted it is my responsibility.

"I think he can be crucial for us, especially in a few weeks when the season starts to go forward."

Ji has made 21 Premier League appearances - although just two of those were starts - and scored two goals in his time at Sunderland.

He has played a part in all three of the Black Cats' games in all competitions this season, and almost scored with his first touch when he came on as a sub at Southampton last week. But he looked out of his depth after starting against League One MK Dons in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday and was subbed after just 50 minutes.

Di Canio still has faith in the 22-yearold, however.

He said: "Opponents can become tired and he is a player who can exploit space and kill his opponents 1 v 1. …

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