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Lee Kang-in unlikely to renew contract with Valencia

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By Jhoo Dong-chan

It seems almost certain South Korean young talent Lee Kang-in is not going to renew his contract with Valencia CF.

A number of Spanish and German clubs have expressed interest in acquiring Lee, and the 19-year-old midfielder's next destination is expected to be revealed during the winter transfer season.

According to Superdeporte, a local online football magazine, Wednesday, Valencia is experiencing difficulties in finding the middle ground in renewing its contract with Lee.

It said the club "plans to prioritize the team's youth players and will provide more chances to them, but has yet to find the middle ground in talks with Lee."

During a recent La Liga match against Villarreal CF, Valencia's head coach Javi Gracia decided not to play Lee. Valencia was beaten 1-2 in the game.

When reporters asked why, Gracia said he has given Lee enough opportunities this season.

"He didn't play the game, but has got enough opportunities this season," he said. "He knows what he needs to do. I couldn't play him this game because of the game plan."

According to online football analyst Opta, Lee has played 37.7 minutes per game.

Several football experts said it's unlikely for Lee to renew his contract if the current situation prolongs.

"I don't think he hasn't got enough chances compared to other young talented players there, but this isn't enough for him," football columnist Park Jong-yoon said.

Another expert claims it's better for him to leave Valencia in the winter transfer season.

"It is essential for young players, especially around Lee's age, to play actual games to advance into the next level," a local football expert said under condition of anonymity.

"This is about the player's contract and future. So, it's hard to comment about it, but I believe it's way better off for him to find a new club. He is a talented player, and will easily find his place in a new team."

Jhoo Dong-chan


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