Cagliari starlet Han Kwang-Son's price tag continues to rise, and the Sardinians are reportedly preparing a new contract offer for the North Korea international amid interest from Juventus, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
The Bianconeri are seen as favourites to land the 19-year-old after coming close in January, but their failure to close the deal could prove costly, per Calciomercato.com's Kaustubh Pandey.
Cagliari President Tommaso Giulini is said to a big fan of the speedy forward, enough to reward him with a new contract. His value is also rising, and the club will hold out for a larger transfer fee in the summer.
Per the report, the Bianconeri have no interest in paying a huge sum for Han, who has yet to score for his parent club since returning from a loan spell in February. He announced himself as a serious prospect with Perugia during the first half of the season:
Han is the first elite prospect to come out of North Korea, and his unique background has overshadowed his ability on the pitch somewhat. Pundits have mostly discussed his story and the complications that could arise with his transfer, but his raw talent deserves more of the spotlight.
He's an exceptional athlete who combines quickness and balance with light feet and technical ability. Han can get out of tight spots in a hurry, forces a lot of fouls and has a knack for showing up in the right place at the right time.
While he's still raw, Han has tremendous upside, explaining why top clubs like Juventus wanted to sign him in January before his value rose even more.
But sealing a transfer for a player from North Korea is complicated, as explained by COPA90:
There are ideological concerns that need to be taken into account, and while Cagliari have handled those issues well, it doesn't always work out.
Before Han, Choe Song-Hyok was North Korea's best young footballer, and Fiorentina gladly took a chance on the player. But as the Daily Telegraph's Julian Ryall reported, the Italian parliament opened an investigation into the deal amid concerns his wages were being appropriated by the regime in his homeland.
Choe's Fiorentina dreams soon came to an end, and he plies his trade for lowly Olbia Calcio, a club in Serie C.
It will be up to scouts to determine whether Han's talent is worth the headaches that would likely come with his signing, and those concerns will undoubtedly factor into the price clubs are willing to pay for him.