Hellas Verona are reportedly set to sign Korean prodigy Seung-Woo Lee from Barcelona in a €1.5 million deal.
According to a report in Spanish publication Sport, Seung-Woo Lee is set to call time on his spell at Barcelona to make his way to Italy. The Korean whizkid is set to sign for Hellas Verona, with the Serie A club set to shell out €1.5 million to secure his services.
Seung-Woo Lee joined Barcelona from Incheon United in 2011, with a lot of hype surrounding his talent. Many in his country had hailed him to be the ‘Korean Messi’, and the excitement around his talent grew further following his move to the Catalan club.
At La Masia, the player quickly had the coaches hailing him as the next big thing at the academy. However, a FIFA ban on Barcelona halted his progress significantly, as Lee had to be sidelined for three years.
Upon rejoining the club, the teenager has struggled to match up to levels at La Masia, although he has shown sparks of brilliance too. Last season though, Lee filtered in and out of the Barcelona Juvenil A side, with the youngster’s need to develop physically pointed out on several occasions.
Lee Seung-woo will play for Hellas Verona. FC Barcelona will have repurchase option. pic.twitter.com/QBrqoPywAH
— La Masia (@Youngcules) August 30, 2017
Nevertheless, the Korean prodigy has graduated to the Barcelona B side this season, with the reserve team set to play in the Segunda Division. However, his progress at the club is set to be hindered once more.
In fact, Lee’s time at Barcelona is set to come to an end as he has been forced out of the B team squad due to regulations that only allow two non-EU players. These spots have been taken by the Anthony Lozano and the Vitinho, who arrived on loan from Palmeiras earlier this summer.
His next destination could be Italy, with Hellas Verona keen on signing him. The Serie A club are willing to pay €1.5 million to secure the services of Lee, with Barcelona likely to include a buy-back clause in the deal, similar to the one that saw Gerard Deulofeu make his return to Camp Nou this summer.
Thus, the move to Italy could prove to be immensely beneficial for all three parties. Lee would get a fast track to first-team football at a top-flight club while Verona will be acquiring a prodigious talent who still has a lot of excitement around him.
It now remains to be seen if Lee’s career can take off in Italy, having stuttered in making a progress at Barcelona at different junctures over the years.