Man Utd: Ten Hag ‘turns attention’ to €80m duo after European giants hijack move for top target

Lewis Oldham
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag shrugs his shoulders

Man Utd are reportedly set to ‘turn their attention’ to two Ligue 1 defenders as it is becoming increasingly clear that Kim Min-jae will join Bayern Munich.

The Red Devils were always likely to sign a new centre-back this summer as Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof could leave the club before next season.

Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane are currently Erik ten Hag’s first-choice defenders but both struggled with injuries at times during the 2022/23 campaign.

Ten Hag likes to have quality options in every position and Kim-jae has been heavily linked with Man Utd in recent months.

The South Korea international joined Napoli for around £15m from Fenerbache last summer and he shone for the Serie A champions during his debut season.

Kim-jae was always likely to leave Napoli after just one season as there is a €47m release clause in his current contract.

Napoli have been looking to offer him a new deal which would include a more significant buy-out clause, but a summer exit now looks more likely.

It was reported earlier this month that Man Utd were looking to ‘finalise’ Min-jae’s move to Old Trafford and it initially appeared likely that he would be their first summer signing.

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But Ben Jacobs is now reporting that Min-Jae is ‘expected’ to sign for Bayern Munich. And with that, United are considering Monaco’s Axel Disasi and Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo as potential alternatives.

‘The expectation is that Kim Min-jae will join Bayern from Napoli. The German champions are moving fast to finalise personal terms on a five-year contract,’ Jacobs wrote for Caught Offside.

‘The aim is to be ready to trigger Kim’s €47m release clause, which is only active in the first two weeks of July. There’s around €15m in agent fees on the deal, too, which put off some suitors.

‘Manchester United never had a done deal with Kim and could now turn their attention to Monaco’s Axel Disasi, who is open to the move. Monaco are asking for €50m, and if Manchester United proceed they’ll hope for a lower fee.

‘The club have also scouted Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo, who is likely to be available for around €30m. Nothing is advanced at this point.

‘There was interest in Jurrien Timber last summer when Erik ten Hag looked to raid his former club Ajax for him and Lisandro Martinez, but, as has been widely reported, he’s now a top target for Arsenal.’

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