Asia's Beckham To Follow In The Original's MLS Footsteps?

Asia's Beckham could be following in the footsteps of the original by heading to the United States…

South Korea's 2002 and 2006 World Cup hero Ahn Jung-hwan, is, according to reports in Seoul, wanted by a trio of MLS clubs.

The striker's good looks and silky skills led the international press to dub him 'Asia's Beckham' in the summer of 2002.

Ahn, 32, who scored against the US as well as Italy during the Korea/Japan tournament, spent last season in the K-league with Busan I'Park.

"There is a large amount of interest from MLS teams in Ahn Jung-hwan," a source close to the player told Seoul's International Daily.

"We sent videos of Ahn in action this year for the national team and in the K-league and there was a very positive reaction from three mid-table teams in the eastern conference."

The striker is already well-travelled with stints in Japan, Italy, Germany and France as well as South Korea under his belt and could be on his way Stateside if the price is right.

"There is a difference between the salary on offer by the US teams and the salary that Ahn requires but it is not a big difference," the newspaper added.

Ahn shot to global fame in 2002 after being fired by the owner of his club team Perugia for scoring the goal that sent Italy crashing out of the competition.

John Duerden

Asia Editor