Muscle-bound Kang In Lee. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

After a week when I read “A word to those protestors demanding we stop oil – I think you’ll find most of us are now using air fryers !” – Real Mallorca, after a marathon of games and a free weekend, get back to business tonight at 21:00 in the Son Moix when Cadiz are the visitors.

This fixture has been tagged the “salvation game” because if we pick up all three points against a relegation-threatened Cadiz, we’re more or less certain to stay in top flight Spanish football for a third successive campaign. The footballing term “on the beach” in the headline simply means we can’t be relegated and players and staff can look forward to some leisure time wearing flip flops and speedoes!

We have 41 points and lie in 12th place, seven from the drop zonewith, after tonight’s game, just four matches left to play. They are Almeria (A) on Saturday, May 20 at 18:30, Valencia (H) on Thursday 25th at 19:30, Barcelona (A) on Sunday 28th at 19:00 and Rayo Vallecano (H) on Sunday June 4 at 19:00 hrs.

If the form guide is anything to go by, Mallorca must start favourites tonight. Cadiz haven’t won on Balearic soil since the late ’80s. They’re in 15th place with 35 points, just one from joint third bottom teams Valencia and Getafe. Cadiz arrive on the back of a 5-1 “gubbing” at the hands of Atletico Madrid on the last match day.

Mallorca will again be without their captain Antonio Raillo who’s suspended and I’m expecting us to scrape past a feisty Cadiz side fighting for their lives in front of a near capacity Son Moix crowd. Mallorca fans have discovered Neil Diamond’s song “Sweet Caroline” which they sing with gusto before kick off. Problem is, they don’t know the words. However, they do know that bit in the middle ! All together now…. “Oh oh oh”!

As the season heads into its final stages, clubs in Spain are preparing to buy and sell in the transfer market and RCD Mallorca are no exception. The rumour merry-go-round is about to be cranked up. Madrid daily sports paper AS is reporting that Atletico Madrid are ready to make a move for their first Summer signing target, RCD Mallorca’s South Korean star Kang In Lee.

“Los Colchoneros” are in the market for attacking reinforcements ahead of the 2023/24 season after seeing their January interest in the player rejected by the Palma club. Despite being under contract here until 2025, and once Atletico’s Champions League qualification is confirmed in the coming weeks, the Madrid side’s prepared to meet Kang In Lee’s release clause which is set at 17 million euros with Atletico prepared to pay around 20 million euros to seal a move ahead of their rivals in the market.

Premier League clubs are also interested in Kang’s signature and it’s only a matter of time before, sadly for us, he leaves these island shores. He’s been nothing short of a phenomenon since he arrived. At every home game and at the Son Bibiloni training ground, there are literally dozens of young South Korean fans clamouring for a selfie or even an old fashioned autograph. Both Real Mallorca club shops in the Son Moix and Plaza Cort have tripled the sale of Kang In Lee replica shirts and they regularly sell out. The online official website has been swamped by requests for jerseys and sales of the innovative design of the Nike tops have gone through the roof.

The history of Kang In Lee in Spanish football reads like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster. Risk, overcoming any adversity and achieving his childhood dream best sums up his story so far. He arrived at Valencia when he was just 10 years old and after an “entrance exam” he passed the test and joined Valencia’s famed Paterna youth academy. To cut a long story short, Kang’s rise up the youth ladder at Valencia was meteoric.

After 10 years as one of Valencia’s brightest young prospects, his unceremonious departure was seen as an indictment of the team’s management and its failure to develop new talent. One of the reasons why Valencia are now struggling to avoid relegation. Now owned by Singapore-born billionaire Peter Lim, Valencia unbelievably allowed Kang to leave the Mestalla and Mallorca snapped him up on a free transfer. He’s now one of the top midfielders in Spanish football and Mallorca have turned this young 22-year-old (who has flourished here) into a superstar.

He now wants to go to a bigger club and play on a bigger stage. It’s a painful loss for us and we don’t want him to go but there’s no point in keeping a player whose heart is set on going somewhere else. When Kang In Lee leaves, Mallorca will make a huge profit on his transfer, allowing us to afford a suitable replacement.

AND FINALLY, seriously old joke alert ! A horse is in a pub having a few beers, when he spots a donkey in the corner, and goes over for a chat. The donkey asks “What do you do for a living ?” The horse tells him “I run on the flat during the summer and I go over the jumps in the winter.” The donkey says “Have you won anything ?” The horse answers “For sure, I’ve won the 2000 Guineas, the St Leger and the Derby and over the jumps I’ve won the Grand National and the Gold Cup.” They arrange to meet again at the donkey’s house the following week. The donkey thinks “I need to really impress this guy as he’s done everything,” so he goes out and buys a big picture of a zebra and hangs it above the fireplace. When the horse arrives, he remarks “This is a lovely place you’ve got here. Who’s that in the picture above the fireplace ?” The donkey tells him “Oh, that was me when I played for Juventus !”