With Lee Kang-jin becoming harder to hold onto, Mallorca are planning an all-out recruitment drive for the ‘post-Lee Kang-jin’ era.
According to Spanish outlet Onda Cerro, club president Pablo Ortells is planning to use the transfer fee and the proceeds to bolster his squad across the board.
For starters, the club will offer a transfer fee to Atletico Madrid, who are considered the favorite to land Lee, as well as loan players to replace him. The first target is winger Samuel Linnu. Linu joined Atletico last season after scoring 12 goals and providing five assists for Portuguese side Gilvicent. This season, he was loaned to Valencia, where he scored six goals and provided one assist, showing that he can compete in the big leagues. He’s a valuable immediate impact player that Mallorca could use on loan.
At the same time, they could also target winger Rodrigo Richelme, who scored four goals and provided four assists on loan to Girona from Atletico. Both players could be brought in on loan at the same time, or one could be acquired outright, which would strengthen the second line.
Mallorca have big dreams. Sergi Darder, who has been vice-captain of Espanyol, has been on the radar of top clubs since their relegation. He had three goals and nine assists last season and six goals and two assists this season. A technical midfielder, he’s a versatile player who can play in a variety of positions and roles, both offensively and defensively.
Darder reportedly has a ‘loan buyout’ clause inserted into his contract, meaning that if the club is relegated, a top flight club can take him on loan for a season at 100% of his salary. Top striker Joselu has a similar clause and is being courted by Real Madrid.
Mallorca have joined the race to sign Darder, who is also wanted by La Liga giants. Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, both of whom are playing in the UEFA Champions League next season, are too much of a barrier, while Villarreal and Valencia are bigger clubs than Mallorca. If Mallorca can secure a loan deal, it would be a major achievement, or they could use relegation as an opportunity to slash their transfer fee and buy him outright. Darder’s buyout clause has a clause that halves the transfer fee while the team is in the second division.
Another option would be to bring in left-back Toni Rato, who is out of contract with Valencia, on a free transfer. Valencia had high hopes for Rato, who hasn’t developed into a first-team regular at the age of 26. It wouldn’t be a huge reinforcement for Mallorca, but there is room for improvement with more consistent playing time.
Four players have been mentioned. “Mallorca will look to improve the quality of their squad if Lee leaves by bringing in six or seven players of La Liga quality, which is what coach Javier Aguirre is demanding,” the outlet said.스포츠토토
With six goals and five assists this season, Lee has been the team’s top performer alongside striker Bedard Muric, who has 14 goals and three assists. He was also a key contributor to Mallorca’s steady 12th-place finish. After signing Lee as a free agent two years ago, it’s unlikely the club will be lucky enough to capitalize and make a profit twice. Instead, Orteles’ plan is to use the transfer window he leaves behind and the money he brings in to strengthen the team as a whole.