Manchester United weighing up move for Napoli defender Kim Min-jae

Manchester United are interested in signing Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae but will face strong competition from Liverpool in the summer transfer window.

Kim Min-jae

Kim Min-jae, 26, has been among Napoli’s fantastic performers this season, helping the club establish a staggering 19 points lead at the top of the Serie A table and qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals. The defender’s first campaign in Serie A has been a roaring success, and he further enhanced his reputation with some impressive displays for South Korea at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The 26-year-old has attracted a lot of attention this campaign following his imperious displays at the back for Napoli, with the likes of Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham touted as potential destinations for him.

Manchester United are known admirers of Kim, who reportedly has a bit less than £50m release clause in his contract and will be available for some days in July. So, there is a possibility for the clubs to trigger that release clause. However, outside of the clause, he is believed to be valued at around the £100m mark by the Serie A league leaders.

Harry Maguire could leave Man United

Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire hasn’t been a regular under Erik ten Hag this season, starting just five Premier League games so far. He has fallen behind Ten Hag’s preferred centre-back pairing of Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, with the Red Devils looking much more solid and stable defensively than they were last term.

So, Maguire clearly is not one of the first names on the manager’s team sheet, although he has continued to be a regular starter for England under Gareth Southgate. Due to his lack of game time, the England international is open to leaving Old Trafford at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

Given how much he has struggled for form and minutes this term, it is not a surprise that Ten Hag is open to letting Maguire leave in the next transfer window.

The Red Devils plotting a move for Kim Min-jae

Erik ten Hag has some major decisions to make in the summer. His rebuild will continue and some players will be offloaded to make way for fresh blood. Harry Maguire is expected to lead the exodus at Old Trafford, having failed to impress Ten Hag during the limited game time he has enjoyed this season.

In case Maguire leaves, Man United could make a move for Napoli’s Kim Min-jae to replace their current skipper. Having signed from Fenerbahçe for around €20M last summer, Kim has been a stellar performer for Napoli. He has taken the Serie A like a duck to water, as well as impressed in the Champions League, enjoying an unusual route to stardom in Europe.

As a result, top European clubs are circling for the South Korean’s signature. Man United are among those clubs, as Ten Hag looks to bring in quality defensive cover beyond Varane and Martinez next season.

Kim possesses the mixture of technical qualities and physicality that could make him a hit in the Premier League. However, Napoli are desperate to keep hold of their defensive stalwart and have offered him a new contract to fend off interest.

With doubts surrounding the future of Maguire at Old Trafford, the Red Devils’ interest in Kim might just prompt in an enquiry in July.

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