Lee Kang-in’s buyout has been revised upward due to his performance this season. However, it seems that it is possible to sign him without paying that amount.
Spain’s Estadio Deportivo reported on Tuesday (Sept. 10), “Lee Kang-in has scored six goals and provided six assists in 36 La Liga appearances in a Mallorca shirt this season. Across all competitions, he has played over 3,000 minutes. Along with Bedat Murki, he was Mallorca’s most important player. Teams competing in Europe next season want him,” the report said.
Lee came out of Valencia’s youth academy. His first-team debut came relatively quickly. He made his debut in 2018 at the age of 17 years, 8 months, and 11 days, making him the youngest foreign debutant in Valencia’s history. However, Valencia didn’t give him many opportunities after that. Eventually, Lee decided to seek a new challenge.
He moved to Mallorca ahead of last season. He spent his first season adjusting to life as a starter and substitute, but this season he has become a key player for Javier Aguirre’s side. Lee scored six goals and provided six assists in 36 Spanish La Liga appearances. He has started 33 times. As his playing time increased, so did his impact on the game.
He was nominated for the La Liga Team of the Year (but didn’t make the final cut) for his outstanding performances. Transfer speculation also emerged. While English Premier League (EPL) teams like Aston Villa and Newcastle United have shown interest, Atletico Madrid seems to have a slight edge in the race.
Atletico have been linked with a move for Lee since January. Initially, it was reported that the club was hesitant to sign Lee because his buyout clause was too high. However, Atletico are reportedly considering a partial deal that would include the player for cash in order to lower the price. In fact, they have sent such an offer to Mallorca.
The thing is, there has been a lot of speculation about the amount of the buyout clause in Lee’s contract. For now, €25 million (approximately KRW 348 million) is the most likely figure. On the 9th, Spain’s ‘Marca’ reported, “Lee Kang-in’s buyout clause was 17 million euros (about 23.6 billion won) last summer, but this clause depends on his performance. It has now risen to 25 million euros.”
There was a reason Atletico offered a partial trade to lower the cash outlay. Given the size of the La Liga market, investing €25 million in a player is a lot of money. However, another argument has been raised. While the buyout has increased, it’s possible to transfer for less.
‘Estadio Deportivo’ reports that “Lee’s buyout has increased to €25 million. However, there is already an unwritten verbal agreement between the club and Mallorca. This means that the club will allow Lee to move if they receive an offer of between €18 million and €20 million.” 스포츠토토