Korean winger Song Heung-min is seeing his value rise at Hamburg as he maintains an impressive goal-scoring record and big-name clubs from neighboring European countries are expressing interest in acquiring his services, according to leading German daily Bild.
The newspaper published a story on Tuesday claiming that Son's agent Thies Bliemeister and Hamburg's sporting director Frank Arnesen are trying to find a way to extend Son's contract until 2016. The story, which ran under the headline "Son's poker millions," said he could soon become one of the highest-paid members of the Bundesliga team.
Son currently earns 700,000 euros (W1 billion) a year. Early in the season, Hamburg offered to double that if he renews his contract, which is set to expire in June next year. In Europe such negotiations normally begin one or two years before the original contract ends.
But Son's prospects already look dramatically better than they did at the start of the season as he has been in sensational form, scoring nine goals in 21 games -- five of them unassisted. Arnesen has since been running around praising the young winger and hailing him as a potential superstar. He added that the team will come up with a sum that will satisfy Son and persuade him to stay.
Local media frequently describe him as "Sonsational" and compare him to Cha Bum-kun, a former leading Bundesliga player known in Germany as Tscha Bum. Cha spent 11 seasons in the league from 1978, plying his trade for such big clubs as Frankfurt and Leverkusen and scoring 98 goals in 308 games. He also picked up two UEFA Cup titles along the way. The competition has since been renamed the Europa League.
With Son's star firmly in the ascendant, other heavyweights in the continent are taking a keener interest. Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, all in the English Premier League, and Inter Milan are reportedly considering paying transfer fees of up to 10 million pounds to get him on their books. United even introduced Son as a potential buy for the team on the club's official website.
However, Hamburg seem to be reluctant to let go of him because, apart from being an asset to the team, the club know they can probably sell him for a higher figure further down the road. Bild predicted that Son may be worth over 20 million euros if the competition for his services continues to heat up.