Man Utd ‘looking at’ Serie A ‘monster’ as club prepare to ‘accept big loss on defender’

Man Utd target Min-jae Credit: Alamy
Man Utd target Min-jae Credit: Alamy

Man Utd are reportedly “looking at” signing Kim Min-jae from Napoli as a replacement for Harry Maguire, who looks likely to leave the club next summer.

Napoli only paid around £15m to sign the centre-back from Turkish side Fenerbache in the summer.

This has proven to be an absolute steal as Min-jae has established himself as one of the best defenders in Serie A this season.

The Italian outfit are on for a special season in 2022/23 as they are sitting top of the table and it is looking likely that they will go far in the Champions League.

After decided against pursuing him in the summer, Man Utd will not have to spend big if they want to sign Min-jae in the next few months.

A £43m release clause is included in his contract but recent reports suggest that Napoli are looking to offer him a new deal that does not include an exit clause.

Min-jae is now playing for South Korea at the World Cup. He defended well to help his side keep a clean sheet against Uruguay in their tournament opener.

Speaking during BBC’s coverage of this game, Danny Murphy suggested that it could cost as much as £100m to sign the defender.

“I think his performances recently have been so good,” Murphy said.

“The clubs interested now. I was talking to someone this morning who was saying Manchester United are interested and they are talking £100m.

“That’s how quickly you can grow in this game, because they have been absolutely sensational Napoli to start to the season, him included.”

Min-jae is nicknamed the ‘monster’ due to his towering presence and Carlo Garganese thinks he could replace Harry Maguire at Man Utd.

“I do know that Manchester United are looking at him [Kim Min-jae],” Garganese told GiveMeSport.

“Maguire, I think there’s a good chance he will leave at the end of the season so there will be a space, especially with Varane getting injuries, getting on, maybe not being as good as people hoped.”

Maguire’s future at Man Utd is in doubt as he has only been used sparingly by Erik ten Hag this season.

The defender’s form declined last term and the Dutchman has preferred to use Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez when both have been fit.

Despite his lack of game time in the Premier League, Maguire continues to be a key player for England.

The centre-back has made a positive start to the World Cup and he was one of Gareth Southgate’s better performers in their drab goalless draw on Friday against the United States.

The Guardian reported earlier this month that Ten Hag is ‘aiming to sell Maguire next summer’.

The defender cost United £80m a couple of years ago but they are now aware that they will have to ‘accept a big loss’ to let him go.

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