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Ahn still eyeing a ‘premier’ spot

Shimizu (Japan): South Korea striker Ahn Jung-hwan still has his sights on a move to England despite being unable to join Premier League club Blackburn Rovers in August because of visa problems.

The 26-year-old, who joined J-League club Shimizu S-Pulse on a one-year contract in September after helping the co-hosts reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, said Thursday he wanted the chance to play in Europe again.

“I really wanted to play for Blackburn. The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world, so if I get another opportunity to go of course I would take it,” he said.

However, Ahn — the nearest thing Asian football has to a David Beckham — insisted there would be no turning back on his decision not to return to Italy following his much-publicised row with Serie A club Perugia after the World Cup.

“Spain would be another option because there is a big emphasis on individual skill there, but not Italy. I spent two years in Italy and want to play somewhere else,” he said diplomatically.

Ahn famously scored the golden goal that knocked Italy out of the World Cup, prompting a furious response from Perugia president Luciano Gaucci, who promised that the forward would “never set foot in Perugia again”.

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