Tottenham Hotspur are well aware of Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae, according to Sky Sports reporter Michael Bridge.
The north Londoners have long been linked with a move for the South Korean colossus, who is currently competing alongside Heung-min Son at the World Cup in Qatar, ever since his days at Beijing Guoan.
Despite moving to Super Lig giants Fenerbahce and more recently to Napoli, the 26-year-old appears to very much still be on the Lilywhites’ radar.
Earlier this month, Italian outlet Calciomercatoweb suggested that Spurs had ‘concrete interest’ in Min-jae but Gli Azzurri president Aurelio De Laurentiis was prepared to do everything to keep him in Naples, although he is thought to be valued in excess of €50m (£42.8m).
Now, speaking to Football FanCast, the reliable journalist has given his thoughts.
“Spurs wanted him two or three years ago,” he said.
“He’s very well known at Tottenham and wrongly, I think people looked at him as just bringing in a friend of Sonny’s.
“He’s really impressed for Napoli, whether they’re going to renew that interest [in January], I don’t know but the club are more than aware of him and have tried to pursue him in the past.”
Indeed, the 6 foot 3 colossus has been in fine form for the Serie A leaders, resulting in his presence at the World Cup.
As per WhoScored, Min-jae is Luciano Spalletti’s highest-rated centre-back for the season so far (seven or more starts) and he also leads the way for clearances per game and only one midfielder in the whole squad has a better passing success rate, meaning he’s not just defensively sound as he is evidently adept with the ball at his feet, too.
The South Korean sensation has been nicknamed as the “monster” and even lauded as “one of the best in the world” by his teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, so it’s clear that Spurs may have missed out massively in the past.
That said, they should still look to pursue the centre-back in 2023 as he could be a very valuable addition to Antonio Conte’s squad – you only have to imagine him alongside someone like Cristian Romero to realise the potential that could have.
Therefore, sporting director Fabio Paratici must launch a move for Min-jae at the turn of the year. He may have to pay more than what Spurs could’ve three years ago but given his form and the glowing endorsements from those around him, the 26-year-old would be a wise investment.