Man Utd ‘lead the pack’ for Kim Min-jae alternative as Ligue 1 club ‘anticipate transfer’

Joe Williams
Man Utd transfer target Axel Disasi celebrates scoring a goal

Man Utd have turned their attention to Monaco defender Axel Disasi after missing out on Kim Min-Jae, according to reports.

The Red Devils are looking to add a centre-back to their squad this summer with Erik ten Hag reportedly given £120m to improve his team, plus whatever he can raise via player sales.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have both been linked with summer moves away from the club with the two Man Utd central defenders being knocked down the pecking order at Old Trafford this season.

Ten Hag’s preferred centre-back pairing, when fit, is Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane with left-back Luke Shaw even used in central defence at times over the past season.

Various reports had claimed that a deal to sign Napoli defender Kim was ‘practically done’ earlier this summer with Man Utd having to wait until between July 1 and July 15 to activate his €50m release clause.

However, a report emerged earlier this month claiming that Bayern Munich had ‘hijacked’ a deal for the South Korean with the centre-back now the Bundesliga giants ‘top defensive target’.

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Fabrizio Romano added in mid-June that ‘‘Bayern are getting closer to reaching full agreement on personal terms with Min-jae’ with it appearing to be a matter of time before the 26-year-old joins the German giants.

And now Man Utd have started looking for alternatives with Monaco’s Disasi rising to the top of their list and French newspaper L’Equipe claim that the Red Devils ‘still lead the pack’ for the Frenchman.

It has been claimed that there are ‘other big European teams’ that are ‘trying to convince’ Disasi – who has four caps for the France senior side – but he is currently set on a move to Old Trafford.

Monaco has ‘anticipated transfers’ for Disasi and team-mate Youssouf Fofana with the Ligue 1 club hoping to raise €70-80m in an effort to ‘alleviate the finances of the club’.

Maguire – who has been linked with Tottenham, Newcastle and other sides – could help finance a move for Disasi but former Man Utd striker Dimitar Berbatov thinks he will fight to stay.

Berbatov told Betfred: “When you’re at Manchester United, you don’t want to leave. Trust me. I can understand the desire to stay there and fight for your place, especially when you’re the Premier League’s record signing in your position.

“I can understand why you’d want to stay and prove that you’re good enough and Harry Maguire plays for the England national team, so he has the confidence to show how good he is.

“On the other hand, if the boss has told him that he’s not going to count on him as much as he wants and so on, then Harry will probably have to try and get a move elsewhere.

“He may have to go to another club to show how good he is and if he decides to not do this, then there’s going to be a bit of friction between him and the manager. Ultimately, it’s down to what the manager wants, but I’m adamant that Manchester United need to sign a new centre-back.”