Man Utd boost as Napoli identify target who’s ‘undoubtedly’ their preference to replace desired star
An Italian insider has revealed who Napoli have made their first choice to replace Kim Min-jae amid the defender’s links with a Premier League move.
Kim is reportedly a target for the likes of Man Utd, Man City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Of course, only one of them will win the race to sign him, but the chances of a transfer into English football seem to be relatively high.
The South Korea international only joined Napoli from Fenerbahce last year, but immediately became a key player there. Now, he is on the verge of becoming a Serie A winner at the first time of asking.
A release clause in his contract, though, will allow him to leave Italian football behind in the summer. With that in mind, Premier League clubs have been sniffing around.
Man Utd might view Kim as an ideal upgrade on Harry Maguire. In turn, he could put pressure on Raphael Varane for a starting place due to the France international’s injury issues.
Alternatively, Manchester rivals City could turn to Kim as a replacement for Aymeric Laporte, who is eyeing a way out of the club after a reduction in his gametime.
Kim has also been linked with a transfer to Tottenham, where defensive reinforcements are essential, or Liverpool, where there are doubts over the future of Joel Matip and for how long a seemingly declining – but still very good – Virgil van Dijk can be the main man.
Therefore, there could be various avenues for Kim to come to the Premier League as he prepares for the prime of his career.
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Napoli prepare Kim Min-jae succession plan
And according to Rudy Galetti, writing for Tribal Football, Napoli are bracing themselves by identifying a potential successor to Kim.
Previous reports have indicated that the Serie A champions elect will be in the battle to sign Evan Ndicka – also linked with Man Utd, Tottenham and Liverpool – when his Eintracht Frankfurt contract expires in the summer.
But in a new piece of information, Galetti has claimed that Napoli have now turned their attention to Union Berlin centre-back, Danilho Doekhi.
The former Netherlands youth international, now aged 24, has two years remaining on his contract with his employers in the Bundesliga.
Doekhi is attracting interest from the Premier League as well, according to Galetti, although it isn’t exactly clear which clubs are eyeing him yet. He is also said to have suitors in the Bundesliga and at Inter Milan.
In Galetti’s words, though, Doekhi is ‘undoubtedly’ Napoli’s main target to replace Kim – and they are in a ‘privileged position’ in the race to sign him.
First of all, the attention will be on what happens with Kim. Per Galetti, ‘it’s about the money’ and a ‘suitable offer’ will prompt Napoli to cash in on the 26-year-old.
Whether that means Napoli will consider offers other than the value of his release clause, or will be holding out for the pre-agreed amount, is uncertain.
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