‘Golden Boy’ Lee Kang-in (Mallorca) is drawing a lot of attention.
Spanish media Ultima Ora said on the 20th (Korean time), ‘Lee Kang-in is a major player in Mallorca. Lee Kang-in, who came for free from Valencia, is likely to leave this summer,” he said. “Aston Villa is active. The expected transfer fee is 18 million euros. As Mallorca brought Lee Kang-in without paying, the sale negotiations will go smoothly.”
The previous day, another Spanish media, Estadio Deportivo, 메이저놀이터 said, ‘Lee Kang-in has a buyout amount. Many clubs are looking for the deal of the century’. “It is almost impossible for Mallorca to retain Lee Kang-in,” he said. Prior to this, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reported on his SNS that “Lee Kang-in is expected to leave Mallorca in the summer.” Reporter Juanmi Sanchez, who is in charge of Mallorca, also said, “Let’s enjoy the remaining 9 games of Lee Kang-in, who plays as a Mallorca player.” Mallorca has nine games left until the end of the season.
Lee Kang-in, who moved to Mallorca in 2021 after passing through Valencia, Spain, is active as a key midfielder this season under coach Javier Aguirre’s new appointment. With his unique technique and creativity, Lee Kang-in is evaluated as a top-notch midfielder in Spain. His sharp left foot kick and ability to take off pressure are enough to make viewers exclaim. Lee Kang-in is recording 3 goals and 5 assists this season. If Mallorca’s strikers hadn’t missed the countless chances Lee Kang-in created, he could have scored more attack points. As such, Lee Kang-in’s ability to make big chances is at the highest level in La Liga.
The match against Celta Vigo on the 18th was a game where Lee Kang-in’s true value could be confirmed. Lee Kang-in, who played the full-time selection, received the highest rating of 9.1. He was also selected for MOM (Man of the Match). Kang-in Lee made a total of 64 ball touches that day, with 3 accurate crosses, 7 passes in the final third, 9 successful dribbles (most of both teams), 4 chances created (most of both teams), and 2 shots. In the 14th minute of the first half, after stripping two players off the left side with dribbles, the scene where Ndiaye stabbed an exquisite through pass to the front was outstanding. Ndiaye’s shot went wide of the post. He was successful on 12 of 20 ground dueling attempts, and 3 on 3 aerial duels attempts. He was active enough to record 9 ball recoveries, 3 fouls and 2 foul gains. It received a rating of 8.7 points based on the statistics company ‘Potmob’.
In particular, according to Opta, a media specializing in football records and statistics, Lee Kang-in’s 9 successful dribbles against Celta Vigo are the first (in the club’s history) since Gonzalo Castro recorded the same record against Osasuna in 2009. Spanish media Ars evaluated the players who participated in the match between Mallorca and Celta Vigo, and about Lee Kang-in, “He exists everywhere. He is the center and owner of Mallorca’s play. He plays, fights, avoids, runs, attacks and defends. ” he praised. He was also selected as the ‘Team of the Week’ in La Liga and Europe’s top five leagues.
According to ‘Transfer Markt’, a European football transfer site, the value of Lee Kang-in, which fell to 6 million euros (about 8.5 billion won) last summer, rose to 15 million euros (about 21.4 billion won). Lee Kang-in has a contract with Mallorca until 2025. One thing to note is the buyout. His buyout amount is 18 million euros. According to a recent Spanish media report, it was known as 18 million euros instead of 30 million euros. Considering the recent ransom inflation in the European market, it can be evaluated at a low level.
As is known, Lee Kang-in promoted the transfer from last winter. Lee Kang-in also strongly wanted to transfer, but objected, saying that Mallorca could not sell the core of the team’s power. In the end, Lee Kang-in stayed in Mallorca. While Aston Villa, Newcastle, and Brighton in the English Premier League are reported to have attempted to recruit Lee Kang-in, it has recently been reported that Atletico Madrid, one of the three leaders of La Liga, made a direct offer. This is the part where you can see how much other clubs are looking at Lee Kang-in.
Estadio Deportivo said, ‘Lee Kang-in is one of the players that attracts the most attention this summer. He is at a very high level and he is young. He doesn’t have a high buyout so he’s not a big burden,’ he said. At the same time, the next expected destination was even mentioned. Estadio Deportivo said, ‘There is a team that has already communicated its intention to pay Lee Kang-in’s buyout. That team is Aston Villa. They will pay 18 million euros for Lee Kang-in’s recruitment,’ he said. Ultima Ora also said that Aston Villa is likely.
Aston Villa has changed drastically since Unai Emery took over as manager. As both performance and performance improved, they rose to 6th place in the Premier League. It is aiming to participate in competitions organized by the European Football Federation. Coincidentally, Lee Kang-in’s agent Javier Garrido recently visited Aston Villa. On the 13th, Garrido reported on his SNS that he had visited Man City and Aston Villa clubs. He posted a picture of the Etihad Stadium, home of Man City, and Villa Park, home of Villa. The day before, he posted a picture with ‘UK-ENGLAND’ written on it. His place of residence was Manchester. On the 12th, reporter Mateo Moreto of Relevo, Spain, said, ‘Lee Kang-in and Abde Ezalzuli’s agents are currently in England. Transfer negotiations may proceed within the next few days.”
The British ‘Birmingham Mail’, which mainly deals with Aston Villa news, also mentioned Lee Kang-in. The Birmingham Mail said: ‘Aston Villa have their best chance of qualifying for European competition since 2010. The club’s recruitment department is preparing for the busy summer transfer window. The summer transfer window policy depends on the club’s ability to qualify for European competition,’ he said. Nico Williams (Athletic Bilbao), Lee Kang-in (Mallorca), Pedro Gonsalves (Sporting), and Matteo Guendouzi (Olympique Marseille) were candidates.
In addition to Aston Villa, several teams are keeping an eye on Lee Kang-in. England’s HITC said on the 21st, ‘Aston Villa is willing to pay the buyout amount to sign Lee Kang-in, whom Newcastle is aiming to recruit. Aston Villa is not the only club that has shown interest in signing Lee Kang-in.” England’s Hammers also said on the 21st, ‘West Ham manager David Moyes wants to strengthen his attack this summer. Lee Kang-in can play on both the left and right sides as well as the number 10 role. He was mentioned as ‘a player with impressive skills’.
Ultima Ora said, ‘I’m sure Lee Kang-in will make a decision to further enhance his abilities. At the end of the season, another great move will happen in the Spanish league.’ The possibility of Lee Kang-in going to the EPL is gradually ripening.