Veteran Damjanovic signs for Kitchee with record in sight

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Former Montenegro striker Dejan Damjanovic has signed for Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee as the veteran forward continues his quest to become the all-time leading scorer in the Asian Champions League.

The 39-year-old, who is currently second on the list behind recently retired South Korean forward Lee Dong-gook, will join Kitchee early next month after completing a period in quarantine, the club announced on Saturday.

Damjanovic, who won three Korean league titles with FC Seoul, has scored 36 times in the continental championship, one fewer than Lee, and he will line up in this year's competition for his new club.

The 2021 edition of the Asian Champions League has been expanded from 32 to 40 teams and the increase means Kitchee have earned an automatic spot in the group phase following their Hong Kong Premier League title success last year.

Damjanovic has never won the Asian Champions League, coming closest in 2013 when he helped FC Seoul to the final, where they lost on the away goals rule over two legs to Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande.

The veteran striker spent last season with Daegu FC in South Korea after spells with Suwon Bluewings and Chinese sides Jiangsu Sainty and Beijing Guoan.

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Richard Pullin)

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