With Champions League tickets secured, will Man Utd win Kim Min-jae’s heart?

‘Monster defender’ Kim Min-jae (SSC Napoli) is on a roll in the English Premier League.

Manchester United secured a spot in next season’s European Champions League with a convincing 4-1 home win over Chelsea in the 37th round of the 2022-2023 Premier League on Saturday (26 November), securing a fourth-place finish or better.

The Red Devils have been tipped as a possible next destination for Kim, and their chances of securing the defender’s desired Champions League qualification have only increased.

“Man Utd top target for defender… They want Kim Min-jae”스포츠토토

“The last hurdle for United to sign Kim was the uncertainty of qualifying for the Champions League, but that has now been removed,” said Italian outlet Calcio Napoli 24, adding that “United are in a position to decide his future.”

Now that the Red Devils have secured their place in the Champions League, British and Italian media outlets are reporting that Kim will join the club.

“Kim has a transfer clause that expires in July,” said the UK’s Daily Mail, adding, “United are hoping to wrap up a deal for Kim quickly as a defender is a top target in this summer’s transfer window.”

“United are expected to lose defender Harry Maguire, who has been a shaky performer this season, and Viktor Lindelof is also looking for a move away,” the source added, “which will open up a spot for Kim to play.”

Kim has a €50 million ($71.2 million) “buyout” clause in his Napoli contract that runs from July 1 to 15. Any club that pays this amount can sign Kim without Napoli’s permission.

Kim Min-jae to join Man United after Park Ji-sung

“Man United and Kim Min-jae are only left to finalise the details of the transfer agreement,” the Italian newspaper Il Timino reported, adding that “Napoli are already looking for a new defender as they fear losing Kim Min-jae.”

In addition to Man Utd, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are also reported to be in the running for the player’s signature.

Kim made his professional debut for K League club Jeonbuk Hyundai, before moving on to Beijing Guoan (China) and Fenerbahçe (Turkey) before joining Napoli this season, where he has been touted as a ‘world-class’ defender, helping the club win the Italian Serie A title.

United are the Premier League’s all-time winningest club and have a global reputation. If Kim joins the club, he would be the second Korean player to do so, after Park Ji-Sung. Park played for United from 2005 to 2012, scoring 27 goals in his career and helping the club win the Premier League and Champions League.

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