Mandatory military service could derail Liverpool interest in Son Heung-min

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Bayer 04 Leverkusen v SC Freiburg - Bundesliga

A reported €20 million bid for South Korean star by is already under threat from that country’s conscription rules.

The €20 million sum would represent a doubling of the fee that brought the 22-year-old to Leverkusen from Hamburger SV in the summer of 2013, and his solid performance this season for both club and country have made him a target of Brendan Rodgers and company.

“I know Liverpool have observed [Son] several times and would like to have him in the team,” Son’s agent, Thies Bliemeister, told Bild.

But the potential long-term investment is far from assured; Son will need to begin his mandatory military service by his 28th birthday in 2020, making it difficult for the Anfield residents to commit to a long-term signing.

Although South grants exceptions to athletes who earn any medal in the Olympics or a gold medal in the Asian Games, Son did not participate in South ’s bronze medal squad in London or their 2014 Asian Games-winning side.

Barring a podium finish in Rio 2016, Son could follow in the path of players such as 2012 AFC Player of the Year Lee Keun-ho and spend two years with army club Sangju Sangmu FC in the second-division K League Challenge.