Man Utd: Ten Hag lands first summer signing in ‘very good’ £51m deal for ideal ‘Martinez partner’

Jason Soutar
Kim Min-jae warming up during a match

Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae has agreed to join Premier League giants Manchester United on July 1, according to reports in Italy.

Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag has made Kim one of his top summer targets as he looks to bolster his defence.

The South Korean only joined Napoli last summer but is already a cult hero after helping them win the Serie A title ahead of Lazio, Inter and AC Milan.

Italian journalist Rudy Galetti claimed over the weekend that United are hoping to finalise a deal to sign the Napoli man ‘in the coming days’.

And a report from Il Mattino (via Sport Witness) on Tuesday states that he has agreed to join the Premier League club.

Kim has a €60million (£51m) release clause in his contract that is only valid for the first two weeks of July, and that is the fee United will reportedly pay.

The report says Kim is ‘sure’ to join Ten Hag’s side on July 1.

In full, Il Mattino state: ‘From July 1st he will be at Manchester United who will pay the 60 million clause’.

Kim will apparently earn £9m per year after accepting the Red Devils’ contract offer.

However, Italian journalist Antonello Gallo has claimed Ten Hag is hoping to drive down the price for Kim by offering players in return.

“If Kim is close to United, there are rumors that the Red Devils could insert some counterpart to Napoli,” Gallo said.

“There is talk of Jadon Sancho, followed by the PSG but that could just enter into a more direct relationship of the club of Aurelio De Laurentiis with Manchester United.”

Meanwhile, Liverpool legend John Barnes has said Kim would be a perfect replacement for United centre-back Raphael Varane.

Barnes reckons the “aggressive” South Korean defender would be a good partner for Lisandro Martinez, who was brought to Old Trafford by Ten Hag last summer.

“A move for Kim Min-Jae would be great for United as Varane isn’t going to be around forever,” Barnes told MyBettingSites.

“Also, it hasn’t quite worked out for Harry Maguire so they will be looking to find a long-term partner for Lisandro Martinez.

“Kim Min-Jae is aggressive, he’s strong and he’s done well at Napoli so that would be a very good signing.

“You have to think short, medium and long term and Varane isn’t going to be around forever so for the future he would be a very good signing.”

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