The possible transfer of South Korean defender Kim Min-jae to Tottenham Hotspur could have an effect on the value of Adam Taggart when he leaves Suwon Bluewings.
According to reports in China and Korea, Kim’s club Beijing Guoan have demanded at least €17 million (A$27.9 million) for the 23-year-old former Jeonbuk Motors defender and have refused a €12 million (A$19.7 million) offer from the Premier League side.
The sight of an Asian club playing financial hardball with a prestigious European team is unusual and has resolved Suwon’s desire not to sell their prized asset too cheaply.
After arriving in South Korea at the start of 2019, Taggart quickly established himself as a striker to be feared.
The Socceroo finished the 2019 league season as top scorer with 20 goals despite Suwon actually finishing in the bottom half of the table.
Such form attracted the interest of clubs with deeper pockets around Asia and the K League club had expected the 27-year-old to leave earlier this year before the coronavirus outbreak brought global football to a halt.
Taggart stayed and started the delayed season slowly as Suwon continued to struggle.
Five goals in the last seven games have, however, demonstrated that the killer instinct is still there.
The two-time Asian champions are determined not to sell the Australian at a low price to any club from China, Europe or, at this stage the most likely destination, the Middle East.
A Suwon official told The World Game that they consider Taggart to be the top striker in Asia at the moment and that the actions of Beijing provide a good example to follow.
A report last month placed Taggart as the most valuable player in the league at €1.5 million (A$2.46 million) and Suwon are ready to push for as much as possible.
The four-time champions have been under pressure from parent company Samsung to cut costs after investments made in training facilities and the uncertain economic situation.
The club actually signed Bosnian striker Sulejman Krpic in January in anticipation of Taggart’s departure.
Despite the greater strength in depth, results have been poor this season and coach Lee Lim-saeng, criticised for his style of football and for not getting the best out of the Socceroo, departed earlier this month.
The only game so far under interim coach Joo Seung-jin was not encouraging as Suwon lost 1-0 to Seongnam last weekend to stay just two places off the bottom in the K League 1.