Man Utd legend hails ‘extraordinary’ compatriot as Red Devils set for £43m battle with Liverpool, Spurs

Will Ford
Man utd target Min-jae

Manchester Unied hero Park Ji-sung has lauded his “extraordinary” compatriot Kim Min-jae, who looks set to be at the centre of a transfer bidding war this summer.

Kim joined Napoli from Fenerbahce in the summer for £17m having moved to the Turkish side from the Chinese Super League the year before.

And he’s been hugely impressive for the Serie A side this term, leading to interest from Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United.

Park – who made 204 appearances for United between 2005 and 2012, winning four Premier League titles in the process – has sung Kim’s praises, claiming he’s doing “extraordinary things” for Napoli.

“[He is] extraordinary, what a talent,” Park said. “He took the right step by going to play in Turkey and showed himself ready to take a step forward.

“He didn’t come directly to Italy but step by step, so he grew and there is no doubt that he is doing extraordinary things, as a technical leader and personality in Naples.”

The 26-year-old will be available on the cheap for a two-week window this summer, when his release clause will be just £43m.

Journalist Ben Jacobs recently told TEAMtalk that United may struggle to beat Liverpool and Tottenham to a player who may not be first choice if he arrived at Old Trafford.

He said: “Clubs looking at centre backs will inevitably be scouting Kim Min-jae.

“[Napoli boss] Luciano Spalletti has already termed him ‘one of the best centre-backs in the world’ and you only have to look at his form and intelligence and awareness to understand why and there are Premier League clubs looking for sure.

“Manchester United are in a difficult position with that type of player because he sees himself as a starting centre-back and they’ve obviously got Martinez and Varane there. But there’s other teams that are looking to drop somebody straight into their starting lineup.

“Tottenham are another club that have scouted the player and they would be looking to bring in a starting centre-back, as with Liverpool as well.

“And I think that that would give those two clubs a slight advantage over Manchester United, because if Erik ten Hag is going to play a back four and Varane and Martinez are fit, then it becomes extremely difficult to persuade a player in the form and with the potential of Kim Min-jae to go to Old Trafford over those two other clubs. Especially when you consider that he’s not an 18-year-old.

“He’s 26 years of age, so he will want regular and immediate game time. The other thing to point out in all of this is just that he only joined Napoli in July. So as a consequence, he’s played less than 35 games for the club at the time of recording.”

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