Stoke City have been linked with a move for Daejeon Hana Citizen’s exciting midfield talent Bae Jun-ho and are now close to completing a deal, according to the player’s head coach.
The 20-year-old joined Daejon Hana Citizen in January 2022 and has slowly become an integral part of the team’s squad. The club were promoted to the K League 1 last season and Jun-ho appeared twice in the promotion playoffs.
A number of clubs around Europe have been keeping tabs on the South Korea U20 international in Daejeon but it looks as though Stoke City are set to come out on top by confirming a deal worth £2 million.
Jun-ho played for the final time for Daejeon Hana Citizen in a game today in the early hours of the morning against Korean giants Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, managed by former Chelsea fullback Dan Petrescu.
Speaking after the game, Jun-ho’s head coach at Daejeon, Lee Min-sung, admitted that the deal with Stoke is almost complete [quotes via Stoke-on-Trent Live]:
“I think [the transfer to Stoke] has made a lot of progress of the finer details, that’s for the club to sort out. From what I’ve heard things are progressing positively.”
The 50-year-old also revealed that Jun-ho’s inclusion in the squad was earned, not merely because of the rule which states that an U22 player must be named in the starting lineup and on the bench for managers to make all five substitutions in a game:
“I picked him today not just because of under-22 rule but because he’s earned his place. He’s a player who’s clearly very capable, has a very good mindset and will be successful wherever he goes.”
In an interview with FIFA, Jun-ho revealed that his favourite player is Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, although his own style of play is a little more reminiscent of Phil Foden.
Stoke are getting an excellent young midfielder, but one that will have to be integrated into what can often be a difficult league for many players who have never had a taste of English football.