Romano: Man Utd ‘big favourites’ to sign £43m target as Ten Hag sets sights on ‘a new midfielder’

Jason Soutar
Manchester United-linked Kim Min-jae is mobbed by fans after Napoli win Serie A

Napoli are “offering” Kim Min-jae a new “long-term contract and higher release clause” to fend off interest from Manchester United, as per Fabrizio Romano.

Kim has been one of the best central defenders in Europe this season and has played a massive part in Napoli’s convincing Serie A title win.

The South Korean international is a top target for Red Devils manager Erik ten Hag, who wants to bring in a new centre-half to compete for a starting spot with Raphael Varane.

There are loads of reports about the future of the Napoli favourite, with some claiming United have already agreed a deal to sign him.

Kim’s representatives have denied that this is the case, however.

And transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has also revealed that no agreement is in place between Ten Hag’s side and the 26-year-old.

Romano has definitely not ruled out the signing of Kim and insists United “are the big favourites” ahead of the summer transfer window.

Napoli are doing everything they can to keep hold of the former Fenerbahce centre-half but will need to act fast with a very respectable release clause active for a short amount of time in July.

“Manchester United are the big favourites to sign Kim Min-jae by paying the release clause,” Romano said on The Here We Go Podcast.

“This is the theory of Manchester United but they have not made any concrete bid or concrete step yet because it depends on the new owners first of all and also Napoli, because Napoli are offering him the chance to stay with a long-term contract and higher release clause.

“But, Manchester United are there. The clause is not ready now. The clause is only valid in the first days of July and it is a bit less than 50 million euros (£43.4million).

“Phil Jones will leave on a free transfer. [Axel] Tuanzebe will leave on a free transfer. [Alex] Telles and [Eric] Bailly will be on the market.”

Romano added that Ten Hag is very keen to sign a new midfielder, even if he makes the permanent signing of on-loan star Marcel Sabitzer.

“Also, no matter what happens with Marcel Sabitzer, Manchester United will be on the market for a new midfielder in the summer,” the Italian journalist said.

“Ten Hag wants a new midfielder. So, many things will happen at United.”

United were strongly linked with Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans last summer but opted not to make a move with the Belgian’s contract set to expire this summer.

Romano provided an update on Tielemans, insisting nothing is agreed but there is potential he “could be one of the big surprises of the summer”.

“Youri Tielemans has still not agreed anything with any club,” he said. “He will leave Leicester on a free transfer; he will not sign a new contract.

“But still, nothing agreed with any club, so remains an open situation, keep an eye on Tielemans because this could be one of the big surprises of the summer.”

United have also been linked with Crystal Palace centre-half Marc Guehi.

According to Foot Mercato journalist Santi Aouna, the Eagles are ‘open’ to selling the England defender, with Arsenal and Tottenham also reportedly interested.

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