Lee Kang-in’s future could be decided as early as this week. With Atletico Madrid slipping and Aston Villa looking up, Mallorca are not considering selling Lee.
Lee’s move to Atletico is off. Matteo Moretto, a reporter for Spain’s ‘Relevo’, said on Wednesday (July 12), “Lee’s transfer to Atletico is off the table. Negotiations have broken down. Unless Mallorca and Atletico make concessions to an acceptable level, Lee will not be wearing Atletico’s colors.”
It was a season of ‘upgrades’ for Lee. A player whose strengths lie in his dribbling and passing, he improved his defense and speed under Javier Aguirre’s tutelage in Mallorca. He’s now at a level where he can play in La Liga. The step-up has paid off, with six goals and six assists in the league, the first double-digit attacking points of his first-team career.
He’s already been recognized by La Liga. He was nominated for La Liga Player of the Month in April, and in May, he was nominated for Team Midfielder of the Year. On August 8, he was named the best midfielder in La Liga by Spanish publication As.
No wonder so many clubs are interested. Atletico, Villa, and other top European clubs are monitoring his situation.
A buyout is becoming a decisive factor. On September 9, Spanish newspaper Marca reported that “Lee has become more expensive than a 먹튀검증 season ago. His starting price is 25 million euros (about 347 billion won). His transfer fee has risen considerably due to his tremendous performance in La Liga, including six goals and six assists. Lee’s buyout will depend on his performances,” said a source at the club.
Juanmi Sanchez, Marca’s dedicated Mallorca reporter, also said, “Any team that wants to sign Lee will have to shell out a lot of money, as his buyout clause was €17 million last summer, but it has soared to €25 million this year.”
However, Moreto, who has followed Lee since his days at Valencia, denies the reports are true.
Nonetheless, the Atletico transfer rumors are quickly cooling down. Atletico are not willing to pay Lee’s release clause up front, as they did last winter. Moretto made a negative observation on Tuesday, stating, “The relationship between Lee and Atletico is cooling down.
Now, they’ve announced a “breakdown in negotiations. On December 12, Moretto said, “The player is not going to Atletico. In the last few hours, the negotiations with Mallorca have virtually broken down,” Moretto wrote, suggesting that Lee’s train to Atletico had left the station.
Nevertheless, the transfer could be finalized this week. Moretto went on to say, “Lee’s future will be decided this week. He’s been courted by teams in the Premier League and other European clubs,” Moretto said, predicting a move abroad is likely.
Villa are celebrating. Villa manager Unai Emery is known to be a big fan of Lee. After Atletico were recently linked with the player, it seemed as though the possibility of a move had faded, but Moreto’s report has revived hopes.
The Birmingham Mail, a local newspaper in Villa’s hometown of Birmingham, reported on Wednesday that “Lee’s chances of joining Atletico this summer have diminished with reports that he is willing to leave Mallorca. Villa are now the favorites to bring him back to England,” adding that Villa is the most likely destination.
Despite the speculation, Mallorca have no intention of selling Lee. Mallorca president Pablo Ortells acknowledged on Spanish radio’s Onda Cerro on Wednesday that there have been offers for Lee, but he was confident of keeping him, saying, “We are happy with him and Mallorca doesn’t need to sell him”.
This contradicts his previous comments. “We have decided to let him go this summer, we will sell him and bring in six or seven players on the transfer market,” Orteles said on the same channel on January 1.
Now that talks with Atletico have broken down and Mallorca’s position has changed, Lee’s future is likely to be decided this week. Nevertheless, his next destination is becoming increasingly unclear.