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Newcastle eyeing North Korea sensation Jong Il-Gwan

Newcastle United are weighing up a move for North Korea international striker Jong Il-Gwan.

The Rimyongsu forward is being linked with Newcastle, PSV Eindhoven and Partizan Belgrade as he prepares for a move to Europe.

Toon chief scout Graham Carr has been keeping tabs on Il-Gwan since his hat-trick for North Korea in the Asian Youth Championship against Australia.

Now a regular for the North Korean first team, winning his first of 10 caps in 2010, he wants to follow in the steps of his close friend and fellow striker Pak Kwang-Ryong. Kwang-Ryong joined FC Basel in June last year and became the first North Korean to play in the Champions League, making several appearences including against Manchester United.

"I've spoken with Pak many times about Europe," said Il-Gwan. "He told me it's a great experience but also a challenge. However, I think I have the quality to make the step up. I want to play in European competition, it would be a dream come true for me."

- with Joe Kim

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