History repeating? Man Utd will have ‘no problem’ writing €50m cheque for Napoli defender

Joe Williams
Man Utd target Kim Min-Jae walks onto the pitch

Man Utd would not be put off by a €50m release clause in Kim Min-jae’s Napoli contract as “history tells us” they pay silly money.

The Red Devils could look for a new centre-back in the summer transfer window with Villarreal defender Pau Torres also believed to be on their list of potential targets.

Man Utd captain Harry Maguire started Erik ten Hag’s first two Premier League matches in charge but has not been seen in the starting XI since.

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But there are suggestions the Red Devils are still not happy with their defensive depth and could look to bring in another centre-back, especially if Maguire is allowed to move on.

On interest in Kim, who signed for Napoli from Turkish side Fenerbahce for a reported €18.05m, ‘market expert’ at 1 Station Radio, Paolo Bargiggia, told Napoli Piu on Tuesday: “In the Korean’s contract there is a €45m clause, active in 2023. Napoli would not be caught unprepared and are already monitoring some possible replacements for Kim.

“Beyond the clause, optimism filters in the Azzurri about staying in Italy for at least another year. He’s a player with a lot of appeal, even if there was no real interest from the British. If a club were to pay the clause next year, it would equally be a great capital gain for the Italian club.”

The release clause is thought to actually be €50m for Kim who has made a huge impression at Napoli already and attracting more than admiring glances from Man Utd.

And now Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla says that Man Utd have “paid exorbitant sums for a central defender” before and that the Premier League side would have “no problem to prepare a cheque” for €50m in the summer.

“Napoli paid the clause of around 20 million and knew they had made a bargain,” Pedulla told Calcio Napoli 24.

“If they put the Korean on the market today, they would collect more than double that. It is no coincidence that there is talk of strong interest from Manchester United, a club that – market history tells us – has often paid exorbitant sums for a central defender.

“For the Red Devils, it would be no problem to prepare a cheque for 50 million, euro or sterling changes little, to try to solve the remaining problems with another investment.

“Napoli have inserted a 50 million clause valid from next summer and not from January, contrary to some baseless rumours circulating in Turkey.”