Man Utd plan to activate €50m release clause of Napoli star in January hits snag

Date published: Thursday 22nd September 2022 4:58 - Will Ford

Kim min-jae Napoli

Manchester United reportedly want to sign Napoili star Kim Min-jae, but will likely have to pay more than his release clause if they want the deal done in January.

The 25-year-old centre-back swapped Fenerbahce for Napoli this summer to replace Kalidou Koulibaly.

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The Serie A side paid around £15.5m for Kim, who was linked with a number of top European clubs including Tottenham.

“Inter, Juventus, Tottenham, Rennes and Roma have tried to sign Kim, and many clubs have held meetings on video,” said Kim’s advisor, Ho Lee.

“But we wanted Kim to be able to play in a good team with a certain continuity, and that team was Napoli.”

The South Korea international has started eight of Napoli’s nine games across all competitions since his arrival, scoring two goals on the way to help the Italian side to the top of Serie A and Group A in the Champions League.

CNN Turkey (via TEAMtalk) claim Kim’s performances have prompted Man United to consider a January swoop.

Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio claims Kim’s release clause is around €50m but included in that clause is a stipulation that it can only be activated after a full year at the club.

It means if United do make a bid in January, Napoli would make them pay more than Kim’s release clause, suggesting the Premier League side may wait until the summer.

And recent comments by United director John Murtough suggest the club would not be making a January move even if the release clause was in play.

“During the summer, we made significant investment in the first team squad with the permanent addition of five regular starters, including a balance of experienced international players and younger, emerging talent,” Murtough said.

“We also saw a higher-than-usual number of departures, and this was an equally important part of refreshing the squad after the disappointing 2021-22 season.

“We will continue to support Erik in ensuring he has players with the right quality and characters to achieve success, while ensuring that investment remains consistent with our commitment to financial sustainability.

“Overall, we are ahead of schedule in our recruitment plans as envisaged at the start of the summer, and we do not anticipate the same level of activity in future windows. As always, our planning focuses on the summer window.”

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