Newcastle tipped to hijack Man Utd move for Serie A ‘monster’ in major twist; Ten Hag will be furious

Harry Watkinson
Kim Min-jae of Napoli celebrates

Newcastle have reportedly entered the race to sign Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae, who is a key target for Manchester United.

The 26-year-old played a key role as the Italian side lifted their first league title since 1990. Now, he is on the radar of several top European clubs.

Also, Min-jae is available for a ridiculously cheap fee this summer. Indeed, his Napoli contract includes a €50m (approx. £43m) release clause that can be triggered in the first 15 days of the transfer window. 

In 2022/23, the South Korea international made 35 Serie A appearances. In the process, he helped his team to 16 clean sheets, as well as scoring two goals.

Thanks to his fine performances, Min-jae has emerged as Man Utd’s primary defensive target for the summer.

It’s no secret that Erik ten Hag is keen to bolster his back line ahead of next season.

Harry Maguire is expected to leave the Red Devils this summer. So, the manager will need to bring in a replacement for him. And, a deal for Min-jae is thought to be close.

In fact, as previously reported by Football365, Min-jae is expected to fly to the UK to complete a move to Man Utd imminently.

However, Newcastle could now potentially. scupper Ten Hag’s plan to sign the Napoli star.

This is according to the Sunwho claim Min-jae’s representatives ‘held talks with Toon chiefs’ at St James’ Park at one of their last home games of the season.

Eddie Howe is on the hunt for a new centre-back to provide competition for Sven Botman and Fabian Schar next season. Also, Jamaal Lascelles is not in the manager’s long-term plans.

Now, it seems he has identified the South Korean as a potential option.

Min-jae will reportedly decide his next destination in the next month, once he has returned from doing military service back home.

Dubbed as ‘The Monster’ by pundits Min-jae is known for his strength, tackling and ability to read the game. These attributes have gained him a reputation as one of the best defenders in Europe.

With Newcastle set to compete in the Champions League next season, he is exactly the kind of addition Howe needs.

So, it will be interesting to see if they can beat Man Utd to Min-jae’s signature.

Both Premier League clubs are expected to match his €50m release clause. Therefore, the defender’s next destination will simply come down to his preference.

READ MORE: Arsenal: Newcastle ‘move for’ £92m top target as report claims ‘full agreement’ could be reached ‘in days’