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Son Heung-min, Klinsmann rally behind Korean footballer arrested in China



Son Heung-min, Klinsmann rally behind Korean footballer arrested in China

Korea captain Son Heung-min and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann rallied behind Son Jun-ho on Monday, a day after news broke that Chinese authorities had formally arrested the Shandong Taishan midfielder.

“It’s so heartbreaking, we don’t know what’s going on,” Son Heung-min told reporters during a press conference at Daejeon World Cup Stadium in Daejeon. “We used to be in touch all the time but now there’s no answer even if I send a text message.

“The only thing we can do is pray for Jun-ho. I hope he can rejoin the team as soon as possible.”

Son Jun-ho was detained on May 12 at an airport in Shanghai in what China has called a bribery investigation. Under Chinese law, police can detain suspects for up to 37 days before a prosecutor approves an arrest.

Now that he has been formally arrested, the investigation process can take one to two months, according to reports. He can be held for the duration of that investigation.

The arrest comes amid a crackdown on match-fixing in Chinese football, although the exact details leading to Son’s arrest have not been revealed. Son’s local agent in China was also detained earlier this month, according to the JoongAng Ilbo. He is also being held on bribery charges.

Son, 31, has played for Shandong since 2021 when the club went on to win the Chinese Football League. He has 20 caps for Korea, including appearing at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

He was included in the squad for friendlies against Peru and El Salvador by Klinsmann as a show of solidarity.

“”We all feel for Jun-ho,” Klinsmann said on Monday. “We all pray for him and his family that his situation gets resolved as quickly as possible. We hope that we get him back as soon as possible.”

Spurs: Bid made for Porto star

Spurs are set to fight PSG for the signature of the Brazilian winger.

Tottenham Hotspur are engaged in a battle to sign Brazilian winger Pepê as they look to bolster their attacking options, according to A Bola, via Sport Witness.

What’s the latest Spurs transfer news?

Spurs are targeting FC Porto star Pepê as Ange Postecoglou gets started on his business in North London. A Bola also reports that the 26-year-old has a release clause of €75m (£64m), a figure Porto are insisting interested clubs meet.

Daniel Levy and Co are said to have already made their first move by placing a bid for the Brazilian, however the figure is believed to be ‘still far’ from what Porto expect.

PSG are also mentioned as an interested party, however the report from A Bola states they have yet to make a move, with Pepê viewed as a Neymar replacement for Les Parisiens.

One important note however is that Porto manager Sérgio Conceição is being suggested as a potential next PSG boss, in that scenario it is likely he favors a move for his current star player.

Who is Pepê?

Given Pepê’s status as a fairly unknown name to those unfamiliar with the Primeira Liga, many Spurs fans will be questioning what exactly they’d be getting if this deal gets done.

In Liga Portugal last season, the winger scored four goals and assisted seven in 28 starts and 34 appearances, however his importance to the Porto side goes beyond goals and assists, and he showed his versatility by operating in a remarkable eight different positions this term.

Using FBRef as a basis, it is clear to see why Spurs are interested. Pepê ranks in the 91st percentile (2.55 per game) for successful take-ons among other left-wingers. Clearly he is a profiecient dribbler and someone who will get fans in N17 off their seats. He also averages 3.44 progressive carries per game (70th percentile).

Despite being a flair-filled Brazilian winger, Pepê also isn’t afraid to do the dirty work, averaging in the 99th percentile for interceptions (1.5 per game) and also averaging 1.4 tackles per game – he seems tailor-made for the Premier League and Postecoglou’s high-intensity style.

Despite not featuring for Brazil’s senior side, Pepê had scored three in six for their u23 side.

FBRef also offers an insight into similar players, and one who will stand out to fans of English football will be Sunderland sensation Amad Diallo, on loan from Man United, who lit up the second tier this season with his one-on-one dribbling and finishing.

It does feel like a player who Postecoglou would feel like moulding and improving, similarly to how he did so successfully with the young attacking players at Celtic

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