‘Loyalty + Mentality’ Lee Kang-In Impresses Mallorca Teammate “I had a chance to leave in December, but I stayed with the team”

‘King’ Lee Kang-in (22, Mallorca), who has been strongly linked to Atletico Madrid, has revealed that he had the opportunity to leave the club in the winter transfer window.

Mallorca defender Jaume Costa, 35, told 스포츠토토 Spanish radio station Cadetser on Monday (Sept. 9) that “it’s an open secret that there are many teams that want KANG,” and explained the situation of his teammate’s midfielder, who is very popular locally. It has been suggested that the midfielder could arrive in an Atletico shirt for a transfer fee of €20 million, which is equivalent to a buyout.

Costa added: “He told us (last) December that he could have left, but he didn’t. If he was a friend with a different mental state, he would have been angry (if he didn’t get the transfer) and said he didn’t want to play anymore,” Costa added, praising the player’s mentality after he exploded onto the scene and helped stabilize Mallorca’s fortunes.

On the same day, Mallorca defender Jose Mauel Copete was asked about Lee in an interview with Radio Marca. It’s a good indication of how big of a topic the potential transfer of Lee to Mallorca is in Spanish soccer.

Kopete expressed his desire for the player to stay at Mallorca. “I have a very good relationship with him. I hope he enjoys his vacation. And I hope to see him again. We’ll see what happens,” he said.

Lee scored a career-high six goals in 36 Spanish Primera Liga appearances in the 2022-2023 season. Local reports suggest that the Mallorca club has made plans to keep Lee in the fold in order to strengthen its finances. So far, the most concrete destination has been Atletico. Atletico are reportedly planning to offer Lee for a ‘transfer fee plus player’.