South Korean attacking midfielder Lee Kang-in [Photo captured from PSG homepage]
South Korean attacking midfielder Lee Kang-in has completed his transfer to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) under a contract until 2028, the Paris-based club announced Sunday.
Lee, who will begin a new chapter in the French football league, was part of the Spanish league, La Liga, since his professional debut in the Valencia Club de Futbol in October 2018.
He played 134 matches and scored 10 goals, including three goals with Valencia CF and seven goals with RCD Mallorca.
The transfer fee, although not disclosed, is estimated to be about 22 million euros ($24 million), which is the second-highest amount for a Korean player after the 30 million euros of Son Heung-min when he transferred to Tottenham Hotspur in 2015.
Lee will reportedly receive a salary of 4 million euros at PSG, a tenfold increase from the 400,000 euros he received at RCD Mallorca.
Lee is known as a football prodigy at home as he appeared in a children’s football TV show in 2007.
Lee, with shirt number 19, moved to Spain in 2011 and joined the Valencia youth team.
He debuted in the first team when he was 17 years old, the youngest age for a Korean player. In January 2019, he made his debut in the Spain league.
At the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, he was awarded with the golden ball for playing 7 matches with 2 goals and 4 assists.
Lee was initially reported to be in talks with Atletico Madrid after the 2022-2023 season, but he ended up settling in PSG, which has been looking for attacking midfielder to succeed Lionel Messi.
PSG is one of the most prestigious clubs in France and boasts world-class players such as Kylian Mbappe and Neymar da Silva Santos Junior.
Acquired by Qatar Sports Investments Co. in 2011, PSG is considered a strong contender for winning Ligue 1 as well as the UEFA Champions League.
“It is incredible to be able to join Paris Saint-Germain, it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world, with some of the greatest players in the world,” Lee said. “I can’t wait to start this new adventure.”
By Lim Jeong-woo and Chang Iou-chung
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