The rojiblancos were said to be interested in the winger in January but backed off a move. They could return to Mallorca in the summer with Champions League football virtually confirmed for next season.
João Félix is the really expensive elephant in the room. It is unclear if he has a place in Diego Simeone’s squad after club CEO Miguel Ángel Gil said last winter that it was best for the player to move on.
And it’s unclear if Atlético even need João, or whether he needs them. Chelsea have some big decisions to make in the summer after the disastrous first year of ownership under Todd Boehly. Atlético are rebuilding and are in the best attacking form since Simeone took over at the club more than a decade ago.
Lee Kang-In’s price tag, age and potential for both development and sell-on value should make the deal a no-brainer. As explained in the thread below, the 22-year-old is one of the best wingers in LaLiga based on current form.
Lee Kang-In has been on an absolute tear in the last few months, which is especially impressive while playing in a defence-first side.— La Pausa (@lapausa_pod) May 2, 2023
He's completed 41 dribbles over his last 10 appearances - the most of any player in LaLiga in this period (one more than Vinícius Júnior, 40). pic.twitter.com/kLspq5x81I
There will be no shortage of suitors in the summer for a player with such a low release clause. He plays predominantly on the left wing under Javier Aguirre, but the Mexican coach has used him in a variety of other positions this season. He is versatile and can both dribble and find creative solutions with his passing.
Atlético linked with Lee Kang-In recently. Think he'd do well on the left in place of Carrasco or even instead of Lemar. pic.twitter.com/XeIW7zEqeA— Robbie Dunne (@robbiejdunne) May 8, 2023
The rising tide that is Atlético’s current form has raised Yannick Carrasco’s confidence and output in recent months, too. The 29-year-old Belgium is three years into his second stint under Simeone. FC Barcelona have been linked strongly with him and he might be keen to test fresh waters next season. Lee Kang-In would be the perfect replacement for him.
Atlético looked like a team and a project on its last legs as the World Cup approached, but now there is hope that with some smart signings, they can compete on all fronts next season.