The airflow between ‘monster’ Kim Min-jae (Napoli) and Manchester United is strange.
According to recent reports, Kim Min-jae’s manning was virtually decided. From the news that he completed his agreement, he found a house to live in Manchester, and reports continued that his uniform number was confirmed. However, Kim Min-jae’s man trend has recently been at a standstill. On the 12th (Korean.스포츠토토
time), Foot Mercato said, ‘Man United have made little progress in negotiations with Kim Min-jae in recent weeks’. In this situation, the movement of other clubs is getting stronger. According to Foot Mercato, Newcastle has prepared a second offer, and Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are also known to be keeping an eye on Kim Min-jae.
Manchester United’s situation is not very good. It is not easy to release Harry Maguire, who was considered the key to recruiting Kim Min-jae. Maguire, who was recruited for the highest transfer fee ever for an English Premier League defender in 2019, established himself as the nucleus of Manchester United’s defense in the early days, but his form declined as the years went by. Unlike in the national team, he was degraded to man utd. Manager Eric Ten Haag turned away from Maguire. He has only played in 8 games this season.
Manchester United tried to raise the transfer fee through the release of Maguire. Tottenham, Newcastle, West Ham, Juventus and Inter Milan all showed interest. However, Maguire wants to stay rather than transfer. If Maguire remains, Man Utd’s Kim Min-jae reinforcement strategy can only be modified. Moreover, Manchester United is in a situation where even the acquisition process is sluggish, so it is difficult to spend big money. Man United currently want Kim Min-jae as their top priority reinforcement target. The Rafael Baran-Lisandro Martinez combination is solid, but injuries are frequent. Kim Min-jae was picked as a resource to upgrade them. However, before that, they want to reinforce the front line first. Harry Kane and Victor Osimen are being mentioned. The transfer fee is at least £100m.
Instead, Newcastle’s move stands out. Foot Mercato said, ‘Newcastle has made significant progress in recruiting Kim Min-jae. The guarantee of playing time and the prospect of becoming a key defender in the team captivated Kim Min-jae.” Newcastle have secured a ticket to the European Champions League this season. We are preparing for a major rebuild to create a team level suitable for participating in the European Champions League. Among them, the most important is the central defense. With Jamal Lascelles likely to leave the team, they want to upgrade to Kim Min-jae, who is called the world’s best defender. “Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea also want Kim Min-jae. Both clubs were closely watching Kim Min-jae’s performance,’ he said. Both Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with Kim Min-jae for a long time, and both clubs really need a new centre-back. Chelsea is due to the aging of Thiago Silva and the sluggishness of Kalidou Koulibaly, and Paris Saint-Germain is due to the expiration of Sergio Ramos’ contract.
Kim Min-jae conquered Italy in just one season. Kim Min-jae won the ‘2022-2023 season Serie A Best Defender Award’. Kim Min-jae beat ‘teammate’ Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli) and AC Milan’s top-class fullback Theo Hernandez. Kim Min-jae is the first Asian player to win the Serie A Best Defender Award, which was first established in the 2018-2019 season. It is also the first time in history that a member of the winning team has won this award. Kim Min-jae became the “best defensive player” in Italy, the “home of defense,” where the barred defense was born. Kim Min-jae was also selected as the official Serie A ‘Team of the Year’, reaffirming that he is one of the best players in Serie A this season.
Kim Min-jae performed the best this season. Kim Min-jae wore the Napoli uniform last summer. Napoli, which sent ‘Legend’ Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea, selected a ‘Korean center back’ who showed his best performance during the season at Turkiye Fenerbahce as a replacement. Napoli paid a buyout of 20 million euros and recruited Kim Min-jae, who was actively courted by Stade Rennes, in a move close to hijacking.
This choice turned out to be the best move in the end. Kim Min-jae, who started as an unfamiliar left center back, played a big role from the beginning of the season and quickly rose to the center. In September of last year, Kim Min-jae was selected as the ‘Player of the Month’ in Serie A. Kim Min-jae was the first Asian national player to be selected as the Serie A Player of the Month, which was awarded from the 2019-2020 season. In October, he was honored with the Italian Football Players Association’s Player of the Month award. He left a strong impression from the beginning and earned the nickname ‘Iron Pillar’. Kim Min-jae, who played in 35 league games, ranked first among Serie A center backs on various statistics sites. He went beyond Italy and was even evaluated as the best center back in the world. Even though he only played for one season, he was mentioned in Napoli’s all-time best 11.
In the midst of Kim Min-jae’s great success, Napoli won the thrilling league championship trophy in 33 years. It is the third time Napoli has won the title since the 1986-1987 season and the 1989-1990 season when the ‘legend’ Diego Maradona was active. Kim Min-jae was the first Korean to win the Scudetto. Based on the five European leagues, it is the third time that a Korean has won the championship trophy, after Manchester United’s Park Ji-sung and Bayern Munich’s Jung Woo-young. It is the first win as a defender. It is also the first time since AS Roma’s Hidetoshi Nakata in the 2000-2001 season that an Asian player won the Serie A title.
If you just buy out, you can bring a precious ‘world class’ center back who won the best defense award in just one season. Even considering the current market price, the amount is not large. Arenanapoli said, ‘Kim Min-jae’s contract has a buyout clause that allows him to leave Napoli this summer. For Chairman Aurelio De Laurentiis, it is a very real risk.” “Kim Min-jae can freely leave the club by exercising his option for two weeks from July 1st to 15th (only overseas). Kim Min-jae has a contract until 2025,” he said. “The buyout amount varies from 45 million to 60 million euros. The price is linked to the parameters of the buyer’s turnover,’ he said.
Currently, Napoli is continuing its movement to catch Kim Min-jae, but as the most advanced man trend has turned into a stalemate, the match for Kim Min-jae’s recruitment has once again faced a variable. Napoli is trying to erase the buyout or raise the amount through a contract renewal offer, but Kim Min-jae has already said goodbye to Napoli. There are many clubs that want Kim Min-jae, even if it is not Manchester United. Because of this, Kim Min-jae’s side is currently in a relaxed situation. Kim Min-jae plans to take a break and do military training on the 15th. In the end, it is highly likely that a full-fledged recruitment war will begin on July 1, when the buyout is triggered.