Jeong-ho Hong leaves Augsburg to play in China

The 26-year-old Korean international has joined Jiangsu Suning in a €4 million deal.

Jeong-ho Hong leaves Augsburg to play in China
Jeong-ho Hong | Photo: Augsburger Allgemeine

Korean defender Jeong-ho Hong has left FC Augsburg to join Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning, subject to international clearance.

The clubs have agreed to keep the fee paid undisclosed, however reports in Germany suggest it was around €4 million.

Jiangsu Suning are currently second in the Chinese top flight, and Hong’s new teammates will include former Chelsea midfielder Ramires and Alex Teixeira.

Augsburg set to lose two central defenders

The 26-year-old had one year left on his four-year deal with the Bavarian side, after joining from Jeju United in 2013.

Hong was a regular at the WWK ARENA, making 56 league appearances, including 23 last season, contributing two goals. He missed most of their Europa League campaign through injuries, but scored the equaliser in their crucial final group game against Partizan.

He could be only the first defender to leave Augsburg in the next few days, with his regular partner in the centre of defence last season Ragnar Klavan expected to join Liverpool.

Hong scoring against Partizan | Photo: Bundesliga
Hong scoring against Partizan | Photo: Bundesliga

Losing two key players in Hong and potentially Klavan could be a big blow for new head coach Dirk Schuster, but the club have signed Marvin Friedrich from FC Schalke 04 this summer, with Jeffrey Gouweleeuw, Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker and Christoph Janker also at his disposal.

In a club statement sporting director Stefan Reuter thanked Hong for his time at Augsburg, adding “we wish him all the best for his new challenge in the Chinese Super League.”

Next stop: Nanjing

His new club are based in the city of Nanjing, just under 200 miles to the west of Shanghai, with the club taking their name from the province of Jiangsu.

Although the club sit second in the current Super League table, they are 13 points behind Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao, who have been champions in each of the last five seasons.

He is not the only new signing for the club, who have also announced the capture of Colombian striker Roger Martínez, who has joined from Argentine club Racing Club.

The pair fill two of the five slots allowed for foreign players in the league, with Brazilian duo Ramires and Teixeira and Australian international Trent Sainsbury the other three.

Hong becomes the second player to leave the Bundesliga for the Chinese Super League this summer. Anthony Ujah left 1. FC Köln for Liaoning Whowin earlier in the month.