(Xinhua) – The race to sign Napoli defender Kim Min-jae is not being led by Manchester United, who have been a perennial favorite for a while now.
Kim Min-jae joined Napoli from Fenerbahçe in the Turkkiye League ahead of the season. His move from a league on the fringes of Europe to a major club in Europe’s top five leagues was met with some concern, but he quickly proved his worth and allayed fans’ fears.
Within two months of his arrival, Kim won the Serie A Player of the Month award for his defensive prowess, and the fans’ chants for him on the pitch grew louder with each game.
Napoli won their first title in 33 years, and Kim’s value skyrocketed. Having developed into one of the best defenders in Europe, his contract with Napoli included a buyout clause worth €50 million (approx. KRW 71.2 billion), and many big clubs were interested in signing him for a relatively low price.
Among them, Man United was the name that was mentioned in the transfer rumors for Kim Min-jae. It was reported that the Red Devils had already made an offer for Kim, with manager Eric Dier willing to pay a buyout.
However, a new player has emerged in the Premier League race to sign Kim, with reports suggesting that United have fallen out of the race.
Spanish outlet Pichajes reported the news on Monday (July 29), stating that “Newcastle have entered the race to sign Kim Min-jae.”
“With the transfer window in full swing, Newcastle have decided to join the race for Napoli defender Kim Min-jae, who has been linked with a move to Manchester United. “Newcastle and United have attracted interest by announcing their willingness to pay a transfer fee,” the report said, adding that both teams are active in the race to sign Kim.
“Newcastle are currently leading the race to sign Kim. With Newcastle set to compete in the UEFA Champions League next season, they have recognized the need to improve their squad to compete at Europe’s elite level, and a strong back four could be crucial to Jordan’s quest for the title,” explaining Newcastle’s active interest.
The outlet emphasized that Kim is a player with enough quality to be desired by both teams. “The signing of Kim could be a solid signing for 메이저놀이터 the club. At 26, Kim is in his prime and has the potential to make an immediate impact in the Premier League. He is a versatile and complete defender with a combination of physical strength and technical ability.”
Meanwhile, if Kim were to head to Newcastle instead of Man United, he would likely have an advantage in terms of playing time and a higher weekly wage.
Newcastle are looking to replace Fabian Schurrle as they look to challenge for the Champions League and league titles, so Kim will likely be a regular starter. United, on the other hand, have a solid center back pairing of Rafael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. Newcastle’s Saudi Arabian tycoon ownership means that the club can afford to pay Kim a high weekly wage.
With Newcastle’s arrival bringing the transfer speculation back to square one, it will be interesting to see if Newcastle can use their own charms to beat United to the punch and add Kim to their squad.