Tottenham star Heung-min Son has apologised to his teammates and manager Mauricio Pochettino for his international commitments, which will see the forward miss the first month of the new season as he competes in the Asian Cup with South Korea.
According to the Evening Standard, the 26-year-old said: "I feel sorry because Tottenham is my team and I feel very sorry for my team-mates and coaching staff.
"But I am playing for my country and that is also important. But honestly I feel very sorry about that. That is what I feel."
The length of Son's absence will depend on South Korea's success in the competition but if they go all the way in defending their gold medal he will miss games against Fulham, Manchester United and Watford.
However, there remains some incentive for Spurs in South Korea winning the competition as it would grant Son a reprieve from completing his mandatory two years of military service, which everyone in South Korea must complete before turning 30 years of age.
Despite being the most expensive Asian footballer of all time and the highest Asian goalscorer in Premier League history with 30 goals, Son has not yet been exempted from military service and was asked in Singapore if this was a motivating factor in his decision to take part in the Asian Cup.
"We haven’t won it already. We are going there to win something and winning trophies for my country is always good. I am going there to win something, to win games. I don’t travel there for nothing," the winger replied.
Son was speaking to reporters prior to Spurs' pre-season friendly against Milan, which they won 1-0 through a goal from Georges-Kevin N'Koudou.