Kim Min Jae: Defender set to snub Manchester United for Bayern Munich

Manchester United look set to miss out on Napoli’s Kim Min Jae, with the defender close to agreeing deal with the German champions.

This is contrary to recent reports that United were making significant progress to secure the 26-year-old, who is expected to be their main defensive target this transfer window.

Bayern Munich appear to be also prioritising the centre-back this summer, with the Red Devils apparently falling behind the German champions in their pursuit of the South Korean international.

Napoli are working on tying one of their most valuable assets down to an improved deal, but with a host of Europe’s top clubs interested in the defender, the Neapolitans appear reluctant to lose him this summer.

On 1st July, a release clause in Kim’s contract becomes active for a period of 15 days, which will allow teams to sign the defender for a fee in the region of £45 million.

The demand for Kim comes as no surprise following a remarkable debut season in Italy which ended with Napoli claiming a first Scudetto in 33 years. At the heart of a defence that conceded the fewest goals in Serie A with 28, the South Korean not only made the league’s team of the season but was named as Serie A’s best defender of 2022-23.  

Having only played in Europe for two seasons, interest from the Premier League in Kim dates back to his time in Korea, with Watford and Tottenham both interested at certain points. Then Spurs manager Jose Mourinho claiming at the time, “the player cost ten million, Tottenham offered five. A deal could be done for seven or eight, but at that time Tottenham couldn’t spend money.”  

With the physique of a classic centre-back combined with pace and solid technical ability, Kim’s suitability for a team aiming to compete for titles in Manchester United is evident.

Nonetheless, with reports of Bayern Munich making headway in negotiations for the defender, it is looking likely that the long-standing trend of Premier League sides being frustrated in their pursuit of Kim Min Jae is set to continue.

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