Manchester United are continuing to monitor high-flying Italian outfit Napoli’s centre-back Kim Min-jae, who has become an integral cog in his side…
Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb have recently claimed that Napoli are considering offering Kim a new contract to combat the rising attention from the likes of the Red Devils for his signature, following earlier reports last year that the club were vying for his name.
Signed as a replacement for Kalidou Koulibaly this summer, who arrived at Chelsea in a £33m deal following years of service, the defender has swiftly established himself as one of the leading defenders in the Serie A, starring in as side that tops the table and is yet to taste defeat this term.
With Man United’s Harry Maguire under sustained scrutiny for years now, Kim could be an excellent replacement for the England ace, who might find his future at Old Trafford up in the air over the coming months.
The Premier League giants have steadied the ship under Ten Hag following years of trepidation and turbulence, currently perched in fourth place in the division after 16 matches, having won four of the past five matches.
Maguire, after serving as a regular starting figure in the fold last season, has now only made three starts in the league this season, on the periphery thanks to the exploits of Raphael Varane and £56.7m summer signing Lisandro Martinez.
As per Sofascore, the 29-year-old recorded an average rating last term of 6.91, making just 1.1 tackle per match and keeping only six clean sheets from 30 appearances in the Premier League.
His stagnant showings and inability to emanate assurance and composure on a consistent basis have resulted in a barrage of criticism aimed at his neck for a considerable amount of time now, with his world-record £80m price tag certainly not helping his case.
With Jim reportedly holding a release clause of €50m (£44m), and boasting an impressive, dynamic set of skills, it appears to be a no-brainer when considering the future of Old Trafford, and who will be deployed in front of the goal.
The South Korean phenom has recorded an average rating of 7.22 in the Serie A this term, scoring two goals, completing 90% of his passes and averaging 0.4 key passes per match – illustrating his creative flair that could ignite United transitions right from the base of the side.
And his defensive statistics are impressive too; his 1.6 tackles, 3.9 clearances and 1.1 interceptions per game are complemented by his five clean sheets from 14 matches, bolstering the claim from teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia that the titan is an “iron barrel” in the face of adversity.
With Kim only 26 years old, John Murtough must look to snap him up and cement a fortified presence within the backline for years to come, upgrading on Maguire in the process.