Man Utd target’s entourage ‘opens door to Liverpool’ as €90m sensation ‘prepares’ for transfer
Kim Min-jae’s representatives have reportedly ‘opened the door to Liverpool’ amid reports linking the Napoli sensation with Man Utd and Tottenham.
The centre-back signed for Napoli during last summer’s transfer window. They only paid around €18m to recruit him from Fenerbache.
This has proven to be an inspired signing as the South Korea international has already established himself as one of the best defenders in Serie A.
The 26-year-old is naturally being linked with a move to the Premier League. Liverpool, Man Utd and Tottenham are among the clubs understood to be interested in him.
Liverpool are expected to overhaul their squad this summer. They will strengthen in midfield but they may also look to add a new centre-back to their squad as Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez have been heavily criticised this season.
According to Foot Mercato, Min-jae’s entourage have ‘opened the door to Liverpool’ as ‘those around him are preparing for his future’.
Liverpool are ‘very interested’ in the defender, who is ‘focused’ on doing well for Napoli in the final couple months of the 2022/23 campaign.
Min-jae’s current contract includes a €43m exit clause but it is noted that Napoli ‘would like to remove or even raise the release clause to €90m’ via a contract extension.
A move to Liverpool is ‘not to be overlooked’ and the report ominously points out that the ‘soap opera has only just begun’.
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Last month, journalist Ben Jacobs claimed Liverpool and Spurs have a ‘slight advantage’ over Man Utd in the race to sign Min-jae.
‘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,’ Jacobs wrote for TEAMtalk.
‘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 also 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.’
Jacobs added: ‘There is a release clause for around £40-43million. So that might be seen given his form as quite a reasonable fee and that’s why the end of the season is going to be very important to see whether Napoli try to do anything with the contract to raise that number or change the terms because otherwise even if Napoli don’t want to sell there becomes a window of opportunity for Premier League clubs if they’re prepared to match that number.
‘When you look at the market and you look at for example Wesley Fofana going to Chelsea for somewhere in the region of £70million, a 26-year-old in great form like Kim Min-jae might be seen as reasonable value for just over £40million so that might give a Premier League suitor some kind of incentivisation.’
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