Premier League

Liverpool fight Man Utd for Napoli monster Kim Min-Jae

Carlo Garganese
Kim Min-Jae, Napoli, 2022-23

Liverpool are set to rival Manchester United this summer for Napoli star Kim Min-Jae.

That is according to the Corriere dello Sport, which reports that Liverpool will be in the market for a new central defender.

The Reds have struggled badly defensively this season, a fact that was underlined on Monday during their 3-1 defeat to Brentford.

Who is Kim Min-Jae? The €50m Napoli ‘monster’ wanted by Man Utd

Virgil van Dijk is no longer the force of old, while Joel Matip is also ageing and Joe Gomez is nothing more than a backup player.

Min-Jae signed for Napoli from Fenerbahce for €18 million this past summer as a replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly, who left after eight years to join Chelsea.

Kim has been a revelation for table-topping Napoli so far, with the Partenopei barely missing Koulibaly, who in turn has struggled at Chelsea.

Standing at 6ft 4in, Kim is a physically imposing and aggressive defender who is excellent in the air and brave in the tackle.

His performances saw him named Serie A Player of the Month for September and he has arguably been the best defender in the league this season.

Liverpool have joined Man Utd in the race for Kim, with the Red Devils also looking to sign a centre back this summer.

Harry Maguire is likely to leave after losing his first team place to Lisandro Martinez, while Victor Lindelof’s future is also in doubt.

Kim has a low minimum fee release clause in his contract which makes him even more attractive to suitors.

Kim Min-Jae’s release clause

“The clause is only valid for foreign clubs and it’s accessible in a window in July, for just 15 days,” Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli said in November of the clause.

“Is the clause €50m? It’s variable, it depends on the revenues of the potential buyer. It’s all theoretical given that we are already thinking about changing these terms.”

Kim has also been linked to Real Madrid

Kim has also been linked to Real Madrid

Kim’s Napoli have been one of the most impressive teams in Europe this season. They are top of Serie A, eight points ahead of Milan.

They also qualified for the Champions League last-16, topping their group ahead of last year’s runners-up Liverpool.

Kim has been one of their standout players this season, and he also played an important role in South Korea making it to the last-16 of the World Cup where they lost to Brazil.

A move in January is impossible for Kim as Napoli aim for the Scudetto. Any realistic transfer bid would have to be made in the summer.

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