Ahn rejects England for Metz

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FC Metz have beaten off competition from Europe's strongest leagues to clinch the signing of South Korean international Ahn Jung-hwan.

The 29-year-old, who returns to Europe for the first time since his abortive spell with Serie A side Perugia, has signed a one-year deal believed to be worth in the region of $600,000.

Ahn leaves Japanese side Yokohama F. Marinos after two-and-a-half years and reportedly turned down the likes of West Ham, Wigan, Atletico Madrid, Alaves, Lazio, Livorno, Paris Saint Germain and FC Cologne to make the move to Le Championnat.

Ahn explained that he chose to move to Metz despite the chance to join new Manchester United man Park Ji-sung in England as he is desperate to secure first team football and resurrect his World Cup hopes.

However, the former Busan man also indicated that he would be looking to take his career onto another level after his year with Metz.

"I had many opportunities from good teams in big leagues," Ahn told Sports Chosun.

"I thought long and hard about it.

"I could have joined Park Ji-sung in the Premier League but the conditions didn't seem quite right.

"Metz guaranteed me playing time, something which is very important as I prepare for the 2006 World Cup.

"Next year I hope to move to England or Spain."