transfer target Kim Min-jae could have his Napoli release clause ‘cancelled’ in a move that will see the Red Devils face paying a bigger fee for the defender, according to reports. United have been linked with the South Korean star in a bid to bolster defence.
Kim’s impressive performances with Napoli this season have earned him interest from all over Europe, with clubs alerted to his relatively low release clause. The Serie A side signed the 26-year-old from Fenerbahce in the summer and inserted a £39million (45m) release clause into his contract.
You are reading: Man Utd face forking out huge fee for World Cup ace as £39m release clause to be ripped up
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is now desperate to have that clause either removed or increased to prevent having to sell one of his best players so soon after he signed. De Laurentiis recognises that the clause makes him affordable to the majority of interested clubs.
United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are all believed to have monitored Kim’s progress. All three could afford to pay the £39m fee that is currently written into the centre-back’s contract.
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Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has been linked with Kim Min-Jae
That is according to Italian publication , who claim that Kim’s representatives have already been approached by a couple of clubs. De Laurentiis will therefore prioritise handing the powerful defender a new deal that reflects his importance.
Kim has played in 20 games across Serie A and the Champions League this season, with Napoli sailing through a European group including Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers. Napoli are already seeking alternatives for the player in case they cannot agree a new deal. The defender has also impressed at the World Cup, helping his side seal a shock place in the World Cup knockout rounds at the expense of Uruguay.
Premier League side United have been linked with Kim despite strengthening their defence in the summer. Centre-back Lisandro Martinez was signed from Ajax after Ten Hag made the same move to replace former interim boss Ralf Rangnick.
Martinez has formed an excellent relationship with Raphael Varane in the heart of United’s defence. Club captain Harry Maguire has been limited to few starts under Ten Hag.
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Man Utd might have to pay a premium fee for South Korea’s World Cup star Kim Min-jae
United are not expected to be hugely active in January, having spent over £200m on six new arrivals in the summer window. The Old Trafford hierarchy could leave sourcing Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement until the summer, with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial trusted to lead the forward line.
Teenager Alejandro Garnacho has emerged as a genuine option for Ten Hag in one of the wide roles.
An improved period of form prior to the World Cup break is likely to have given Ten Hag confidence that the squad he has can qualify for the Champions League. The Red Devils are fifth in the Premier League but face tough January tests against rivals Manchester City and Arsenal.
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