South Korea's Lee Seung-yeoul (R) celebrates with teammate Kim Jung-woo after scoring a goal against Hong Kong during their East Asian Championship soccer match in Tokyo February 7, 2010.
South Korea's Lee Seung-yeoul (R) celebrates with teammate Kim Jung-woo after scoring a goal against Hong Kong during their East Asian Championship soccer match in Tokyo February 7, 2010.Reuters

Liverpool and Chelsea's hopes of luring the Korean wonderkid Lee Seung Woo to the Premier League have been extinguished after the striker opted for Barcelona, according to Spanish reports.

Lee Seung Woo, who currently plays in Barca's youth section, is one of the most promising Asian talents of recent times. He was discovered by the Catalans in the Catalunya-Korea Cup and Barca took him to La Masia.

According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, Barca will formally sign the Korean next week even though it has not been easy.

Lee, like all players under the age of 16, was free to negotiate with other teams and could have left the Nou Camp, as previously happened with Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique.

Barcelona lost three of their most promising young talents last summer, when Julio Pleguezuelo, Josimar and Canos left the Camp Nou for Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool respectively.

Despite having received huge offers from the Premier League, especially Anfield and Stamford Bridge, the Korean has opted for Barca and they will seal the deal in the coming days.

Lee's decision to stay in Catalunya appears to be based on footballing reasons, as he would have doubled his earnings in the Premier League.