Man City target last-minute transfer hijack of player who was ‘close’ to Man Utd move

Joe Williams
Man Utd target Kim Min-Jae celebrates winning

Premier League side Man City are thinking about hijacking Bayern Munich’s move for Napoli defender Kim Min-Jae, according to reports.

The Citizens are looking to bring in a new centre-back in the summer transfer window as Pep Guardiola looks to strength his squad further after winning the Treble.

RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol has reportedly emerged as their top target with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano insisting on Wednesday that Man City were about to “push again” for the Croatian.

Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “After [Mateo] Kovacic is done, Man City will push again for top target Josko Gvardiol. Personal terms are on the verge of being agreed with the young Croatian defender. Negotiations are still needed with RB Leipzig as they want way more than reported €80m fee, and they’re still hoping to keep the player.”

But Football Insider now claims that Man City ‘could make a late move for’ Napoli centre-back Kim with Man Utd on the verge of pulling out of negotiations.

There has been months of speculation linking the South Korean defender with Man Utd and there were reports in May claiming that a deal was ‘practically done’.

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It was even suggested that Kim had said ‘goodbye’ to his Napoli team-mates and packed up his house with reports the centre-back has ‘never been so close’ to a move to Man Utd.

But a report a week ago said Man Utd had been ‘hijacked’ by Bayern Munich with Kim – who has a €50m release clause that can be triggered between July 1 and July 15 – now ‘close to full agreement’ with the Bundesliga champions.

Football Insider add:

‘Bayern remain in pole position to sign Kim in this summer window – but Man City are now monitoring the defender’s situation ahead of a potential swoop.’

Romano gave the Mateo Kovacic to Man City a ‘Here We Go’ earlier this week with Chelsea set to receive £25m plus another £5m in add-ons.

He wrote on Twitter: “Mateo Kovacic joins Manchester City from Chelsea, fee agreed and done deal — here we go!

“Agreement between clubs just reached for £30m fee. Personal terms agreed two weeks ago, Kovacic only wanted Man City. Medicals in the next days. New midfielder for Pep.”

And former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley thinks Man City have got themselves a “terrific player” with Kovacic ticking “a lot of boxes”.

“I think this is great business at that price. I think he’s a terrific player who can do a bit of everything. Doesn’t score a lot of goals but scores some great ones. Good passer, good vision, tenacious, and can defend. He ticks a lot of boxes,” Burley told ESPN.