Man Utd given 15-day window to sign €45m defender; January move for Spain star ruled out

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd-linked Simon

Man Utd will reportedly only have a 15-day window to sign Kim Min-jae in the summer for €45m from Serie A table-toppers Napoli.

The South Korea international has been a major breakout star this season as he has shone for Napoli. He joined them in the summer for around €18m from Fenerbache.

Napoli were shrewd in the transfer market as Frank Anguissa and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia also joined the club for relatively small fees.

The Italian side are on for a remarkable season as they are clear at the top of Serie A. Min-jae has been key to their success as the dominant defender has settled in seamlessly.

Min-jae is doing so well that he is already being linked with a move away from Napoli. Tottenham Hotspur were mentioned as a possible destination in the summer but Man Utd are now keen as well.

The centre-back – referred to as ‘the monster’ – is being talked about as a potential replacement for Harry Maguire, who looks likely to exit United in 2023. 

The 26-year-old penned a deal that runs until 2025 in the summer and this contract includes a €45m release clause.

This comes with a caveat though as Fabrizio Romano has reported that this only available for around two weeks in July.

This has even been confirmed by Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli.

“It is only valid for foreign clubs and it’s accessible in a window in July, for just 15 days,” Giuntoli said.

When asked about the price of the release clause, he added: “It’s variable, it depends on the revenues of the potential buyer. It’s all theoretical given that we are already thinking about changing these terms.”

So United will have to get a wriggle on if they want to sign Min-jae before his price shoots up even further. Ex-Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy thinks the defender could cost as much as £100m.

Another player making an impact at the World Cup is Atletico Bilbao’s Unai Simon. The goalkeeper is starting for Spain ahead of Brighton’s Robert Sanchez and Brentford’s David Raya.

All three players were preferred by Luis Enrique over Man Utd shot-stopper David De Gea.

De Gea’s future is in doubt at the moment as his contract is due to expire at the end of this season.

The Red Devils have been linked with several replacements, with Porto’s Diogo Costa said to be on their list of targets.

Romano has now spoken on United’s reported interest in Simon. He does not think a transfer is imminent.

‘There has been reports claiming that Manchester United are interested in Spanish goalkeeper Unai Simon,’ Romano wrote for Caught Offside.

‘Honestly, I’m not aware of any talk between Simon and Manchester United at this moment.

‘Simon is a very good goalkeeper but at the moment the goalkeeper market is quiet.

‘It’s always a domino effect with goalkeepers and I don’t expect any big chances in January.’

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