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Newcastle: Dan Ashworth showing interest in Kang-in Lee

Newcastle United sporting director Dan Ashworth is reportedly showing an interest in Mallorca starlet, Kang-in Lee, with the South Korean international believed to be attracting attention from a number of Premier League clubs.

What’s the word?

According to Spanish outlet Marca, the Magpies are said to be the ‘most interested’ in the 21-year-old at present, ahead of a host of other unnamed top-flight sides, while Championship outfit Burnley are also reportedly in the running for his signature.

The report suggests that the La Liga side are beginning to ‘fear’ that offers may flood in for the eight-cap superstar in January, with the young forward believed to have been scouted by a raft of suitors from England during their recent win over Atletico Madrid.

The report adds that the emerging talent could be available for a fee of just €17m (£14.7m) due to a release clause in his existing deal, with that price seemingly said to be ‘perfectly’ acceptable for the likes of the Tynesiders.

‘Outstanding’ for Howe

The former Valencia gem – who joined his current side on a free transfer back in the summer of 2021 – has no doubt warranted such interest amid his sparkling form of late, with the playmaker having made a bright start to the season at club level with two goals and three assists in just 14 league games.

That tally is already superior to the youngster’s haul of one goal and three assists from the whole of last season, while the attacking midfielder is also performing impressively in comparison to his continental peers, as he ranks in the top 1% in Europe for dribbles completed.

A player with “outstanding talent” – in the words of Valencia academy director Luis Vicente Mateo – the 5-foot-8 sensation has already made his presence felt for his country at the World Cup in Qatar, having registered an assist off the bench in the recent defeat to Ghana.

That moment of quality was evidence of just what there is to like about the fleet-footed ace, as the exciting asset brilliantly won back possession down the left flank before unleashing a delicious whipped cross for teammate Gue-sung Cho to nod home.

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The highly-rated maestro – who previously earned comparisons to Spain legend David Silva during his time at the Mestalla – could well be an asset for Eddie Howe to help nurture over the coming years into becoming a truly lethal attacking force, with the early signs suggesting that Lee is certainly a player packed full of potential.

With the aforementioned Ashworth having previously hinted at his desire to invest in “exciting young players for the future“, amid the addition of Garang Kuol, the transfer chief could well continue that long-term project by snapping up the Korean dynamo in the New Year.