Kuqi rejects Korea move

SHEFKI Kuqi has again turned down the chance to join South Korean club Daewoo Royals, writes Derek Davis.Ipswich Town were willing to allow Kuqi to leave but the Finland striker rejected the chance.

SHEFKI Kuqi has again turned down the chance to join South Korean club Daewoo Royals, writes Derek Davis.

Ipswich Town were willing to allow Kuqi to leave but the Finland striker rejected the chance.

Daewoo Royals, who play in the Busan Stadium which was used in the 2002 World Cup, first tried to sign the Kosovan-born striker two years ago but the move fell through.

They have maintained their interest and moved for him again earlier this month.


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But Kuqi, who signed from Sheffield Wednesday on a free transfer last season, has recently bought a house in Suffolk and wants to stay at Ipswich and fight for a starting place.

Kuqi said: "A Korean club did come in for me but I did not want to go. It is not the right time for me at all. We are settled in England and I did not want to uproot and have to learn yet another new culture and new languages and everything.

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"I feel I had a good season last year with 18 goals for Ipswich and Wednesday so I have a lot to give and want to do even better this season."

Town told Kuqi they were prepared to let him leave despite him still having another year on his contract and the move would have allowed manager Joe Royle more leeway to bring in another front man

Royle said: "It was an opportunity which arose and I told Shefki about it, but he turned it down as he wants to fight for a place here, and that is up to him.

"Equally, I have told him that I want to bring in another forward. Shefki started amazingly well for us but tailed off a bit. If he gets back to that early-season form last year then that would be terrific.

"He is a smashing lad, very popular in the dressing room and he is a worker."

Kuqi marked his Town debut last September with a goal at Watford and his last of the season came at home against Cardiff in the draw which saw Town make the play-offs.

The 27-year-old came to England in January 2001 when Stockport County paid £300,000 to FC Jokerit for him. He joined the Owls a year later for £700,000 but their relegation made him want to leave and he made his move to Portman Road permanent after an impressive loan spell.

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