Kang In Lee (C) will be hard to replace. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


After a week when fellow Real Mallorca season ticket holders and You Tube travel bloggers “Steve and Anita in Mallorca” rubbed shoulders with Gok Wan live on ITV’s This Morning programme – next up is rumoured to be their appearance on Love Island! – Real Mallorca’s chief creative source, 22-year-old South Korean Kang In Lee, looks all set to make a huge move away to one of the top club sides in World football. Paris Saint Germain are willing to pay close to 22 million euros with add-ons to bring the player to the French capital. Their sporting director Luis Campos has been talking to Real Mallorca for weeks to bring the transfer to fruition. With six goals and seven assists in La Liga, Kang In Lee has become one of the most influential players around and was our player of the season.

The player is presently back home playing for South Korea in a couple of friendlies and he’s allegedly passed a medical, making his putting pen to paper imminent.

The transfer fee seems to oscillate depending on which report you believe but after a somewhat stuttering start to his career in Palma, the player’s impending departure would make him the second most expensive sale in the history of the club after Samuel Eto’o signed for Barcelona for 27 million euros in 2004.

Kudos has to go to our sporting director Pablo Ortells who brought the attacking midfielder to Palma on a free transfer from Valencia in 2021. One season later under veteran Mexican coach Javier Aguirre, Kang In Lee’s career exploded onto the Spanish and World football scene.

It’s expected when Kang In Lee moves to the French capital he’ll join up with one of RCD Mallorca’s favourite footballing sons, Marco Asensio from Son Ferrer. Marco (27) is joining the French giants from Real Madrid after his wedding in the beautiful La Fortalesa in Pollensa at the end of the month.

Real Mallorca’s priority after Kang’s deal is completed is to go all out and sign 28-year-old Canadian striker Cyle Larin. He’s been playing at recently-relegated Valladolid on loan from Belgian side Brugge. In 2018/22 he scored over 30 goals in Turkish football with Besiktas.

I always think it’s sad to see great talent leaving these island shores for “bigger things” but it’s virtually impossible to hang on to a young player who has his heart set on a move. I just hope Kang In Lee gets the game time he deserves in the Parc des Princes although he’ll certainly be a LOT richer !

The South Korean is an advertising gold mine. He’s one of the main reasons we’ve closed the 2022/23 season in sound financial shape, with the highest income in the club’s 107 year history, 64 million euros. We also finished last season much closer to the European clouds than the sewers of the relegation mire !

His presence on the hallowed Son Moix turf (which has now been lifted, rolled up and stashed away until the season starts again in mid-August) generated stock problems with both club shops in Palma and online running out of No. 19 Mallorca shirts. The VIP area was always full on match days, mostly occupied by fans from his homeland. Every day at training in Son Bibiloni there were dozens of South Koreans waiting for a selfie with him after training. A like for like replacement for Kang is virtually impossible to find but the footballing world of RCD Mallorca must go on. All Mallorquinistas wish this young genius – Molts d’Anys.

Now everything with the club is going well comes the flip side and is all about our “Cantera” or academy. The B team under Julian Robles have been tumbling through the lower categories of Spanish football for too many years. Gone are the days (under Hector Cuper in the late ’90s) when the B team were in the Second Division. The club has, at Son Bibiloni, a sports city that is the envy of many La Liga outfits and the complex costs more than a million euros a year to maintain. A few weeks ago, after a dire season, Mallorca B were relegated to the Tercera RFEF (local third division) which means next season’s away games will be out in the “campo” and played on plastic pitches.

Young Mallorca players aren’t being called into the Spanish national team youth set-up any more and the academy has stopped attracting the best of local talent. If we do unearth a “gem” he’s quickly hoovered up by one of the big boys. Once again the senior side is forced to look for young players from elsewhere.

It now appears there’s to be a root and branch revolution of all things to do with the Cantera and many of the coaches look likely to leave.

I’ve often wondered, with women’s football taking off in a big way, why don’t we have a women’s team in place at Real Mallorca. There are several sides already playing on the island and three local girls are in the National squad.