File image of Lee Kang-in© Twitter
South Korea’s Asian Games football coach voiced frustration on Thursday at Paris Saint-Germain’s failure to release key attacking midfielder Lee Kang-in with the competition just days away. Lee joined the French champions from Spanish side Mallorca in the summer for a reported 22 million euros ($23.5 million) but was ruled out last month for four weeks with a thigh injury. South Korea coach Hwang Sun-hong told reporters at the National Football Center in Paju that the 22-year-old has “mostly recovered” but it remains unclear when he will join the squad.
South Korea’s bid for a third straight men’s football gold begins on Tuesday when they face Kuwait at the Games in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.
“I’ve been in touch with Kang-in personally and he wants to join us as soon as possible,” Hwang said.
“But our discussions with PSG regarding the timing of his joining doesn’t appear to be progressing smoothly, so I feel frustrated.”
“PSG were supposed to let us know by around the 13th (Wednesday), including updates on whether Kang-in’s injury has fully healed,” Hwang added.
“However, we haven’t received an official response yet (on when he will join the squad), which leaves me somewhat frustrated.”
Football squads for the Games are restricted to under-24 players but they can also have three over-age players.
Son Heung-min spearheaded South Korea to gold in 2018 but the Tottenham Hotspur forward is not involved this time, putting even more onus on Lee.
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