'Korean Messi' Chelsea and Liverpool target available, but a word of warning from Barca

Lee Seung-Woo's apparent move to Barcelona appears to be on ice - but Chelsea and Liverpool should not get too excited just yet.

He has been described as the ‘Korean Messi’ in Spain and with good reason. For the Barcelona under-15s Lee Seung-Woo scored an incredible 38 goals in 29 games - at the same age Messi bagged just 37 in 30.

Premier League sides such as Chelsea and Liverpool have reportedly offered him QUADRUPLE the salary Barca were willing to pay him - but Lee looks set to snub English football anyway.

Mundo Deportivo reported that his agent Pete Guardiola has agreed a pre-contract arrangement which was due to be finalised this week. Barca are said to have also found a way to accommodate his family in the area.

The contract was said to run until the end of the season - but will automatically renew in the summer for a further three years with a release clause potentially being in place for a fee as high as €12 million.

But it now appears that this deal is not quite a sure thing - as Barcelona have of course been hit by a transfer ban.

And it appears that Lee is the main cause of such a ban

A non-EU minor playing in Spain he has not been playing for the club in recent months - after Sepp Blatter raised initial concerns over his eligibility.

He celebrated his 16th birthday in January and it remains to be seen if he can make the move to Barcelona - for whom he was expected to play in the Juvenil A team next season.

For Chelsea and Liverpool however they might not want to get too excited about signing him.

FIFA are clamping down on these cases, and this most recent example highlights that.

And technically, Lee is still not eligible to play in Spain, England or anywhere else in Europe until he turns 18.

The laws state…

Under-18s can move to a club in a different country if their parents move there for non-footballing reasons, if they are from another nation within the European Union or European Economic Area and aged between 16 and 18, or if they live within 100km of the club.

For any deal to go ahead in the case of Lee his parents would have to separately seek immigration for non-footballing reasons - but this would certainly not be looked upon favourably by FIFA.

For Lee, an impressive talent, it seems he will have to wait another two years before making his dream European move.

He also has military service in South Korea to undertake between the age of 18 and 35 … this career is set to be delayed for a while.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch