Monster defender Kim Min-jae (27-Napoli) appears to be on the move. He has reportedly rejected a contract offer from his current club Napoli.
“Kim Min-jae has repeatedly rejected Napoli’s offer to re-sign with the club,” Italian outlet Areanapoli reported on Wednesday (June 12), citing a report from another 먹튀검증 Italian outlet, La Repubblica. On the 9th, the British Daily Express reported that “Napoli offered Kim Min-jae a new contract”. However, it seems that even this was rejected. Napoli’s offer is not to retain Kim, but to remove or modify the buyout clause in Kim’s contract. The buyout clause, which kicks in this July, is a unique clause that only applies to foreign clubs and is said to be worth around €60 million (KRW 830 million). However, this seems like a bargain compared to what Kim has done this season. Napoli have recognized the problem and have been trying to re-sign him for some time. However, things didn’t work out.
It seems that Napoli have accepted Kim’s departure and are focusing on finding a replacement. “If South Korean center back Kim Min-jae leaves, Napoli will make the signing of Kevin Dansaud, who plays for Rennes (France), a top priority,” according to the Italian Gazzetta dello Sport. The Austrian international stands at 6-foot-2 and has a solid build. He played a key role in Lence’s second-place finish in the league this season. In 37 league appearances, he averaged 3.3 clearances and one tackle per game. Atalanta (Italy) defender Giorgio Scalvini and Stuttgart (Germany) center back Konstantinos Mavropanos have also been linked to Napoli.
There are many teams that want Kim Min-jae. One of the most prominent is Premier League giants Manchester United. They have a lot of options at center back, but their only reliable options are Raphael Varane and Lysandro Martinez. However, both have struggled with injury issues this season. Baran has been sidelined several times due to the frequent injuries that have plagued him throughout his career, while Martinez suffered a major injury during a Europa League match against Sevilla (Spain). He could struggle to return in time for the start of next season. United manager Eric ten Haggis would like to bring in Kim Min-Jae as a center back option to fill the void if the duo were to leave unexpectedly. Given their diminished defensive numbers, center back reinforcements are a must. United defenders Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, and Axel Thiangue are all almost certain to leave the club this summer. Swedish center back Victor Lindelof has also expressed his dissatisfaction with his lack of playing time this season. A move is likely. Harry Maguire, who is said to want to stay at United, has also been linked with moves to Tottenham and West Ham.
However, Premier League clubs Newcastle and Chelsea are also active in their pursuit of Kim. On the 12th, France’s GFFN reported, “In the past few weeks, Newcastle has emerged as a potential destination for Kim Min-jae. Newcastle have made significant progress in their pursuit of South Korean star Kim Min-jae. The prospect of regular playing time and the prospect of becoming a key member of Newcastle’s defense have attracted his attention.” Despite the quality of their defense, which has conceded a league-low 33 goals this season, the Magpies have limited options at center back. Starting center back Fabian Schar is 32 years old, so it’s time for a generational change. Chelsea is also concerned about the age of their starting center back Thiago Silva, who is 38 years old. That’s why they’re looking to sign Kim Min-jae.
French giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are another possible destination. However, Kim Min-jae reportedly prefers a move to the Premier League rather than the French league. “Napoli defender Kim Min-jae is attracting interest from Newcastle, Chelsea, PSG and Manchester United,” ESPN reported on the 13th, adding, “PSG have been lacking defensive options due to injuries to Frenel Kimpembe and Noddy Moukiele. Sergio Ramos has also left the club and they are interested in signing a center back. However, PSG’s plans are being hampered by Kim’s desire to move to the Premier League.” This is good news for Premier League clubs looking to sign Kim. PSG have had a lot of center back problems this season. With no clear solution, Danilo Pereira has been playing in the center of midfield. The problem was so severe that 18-year-old center back El Chadew Beachabout played 13 league games. However, it looks like the club will have to look elsewhere for a replacement.
Kim Min-jae, who wore a Napoli jersey last year, has been a key member of the squad since his first season with the club. He made 35 league appearances this season, putting in solid defensive performances in every game. The Serie A secretariat voted him the league’s best defender for 2022-2023, and many soccer publications, including Globe Soccer and Score90, ranked him among the world’s best 11. These are the 11 players who had the best performances this season. In the case of Score90, Kim was the only Serie A player to make the list. Thanks to him, Napoli won the league title for the first time in 33 years, since the 1989-1990 season when club legend Diego Maradona played.