Gianluca di Marzio has dropped an update on the future of reported Tottenham Hotspur transfer target Kim Min-jae.
In a recent post on his website, the Italian journalist revealed that the centre-back’s contract with SSC Napoli contains a release clause of €50m (£44m), however, despite reports to the contrary, Di Marzio claims that this clause cannot be activated until the end of the 2022/23 campaign.
The news of this clause is sure to come as a boost to Fabio Paratici, as, despite the 25-year-old defender having been a long-term target of Tottenham’s, the north London side ultimately missed out on the South Korean’s signing this summer – with Napoli paying Fenerbahce €18m (£16m) in order to bring the centre-back to the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium.
Indeed, further reports following the defender’s move to Italy have suggested that Spurs have not forgotten about the 6 foot 3 giant, with the Premier League side still believed to be interested in a move for Kim should the opportunity arise – something the centre-back’s newly revealed transfer clause certainly represents.
Considering just how impressive Kim has been over his short spell in Naples, Paratici’s decision not to sanction a move for the centre-back this summer already appears to have been something of a mistake by the Italian sporting director.
Indeed, over his six Serie A appearances so far this season, the £12.6m-rated talent has been imperious in the heart of Luciano Spalletti’s backline, helping Gli Azzurri keep two clean sheets, in addition to making an average of 2.0 tackles, 1.3 interceptions, 5.3 clearances and winning 6.3 duels – at a success rate of 67% – per game.
The €2.5m-per-year – roughly £42k-per-week – defender has also impressed with the ball at his feet, completing an average of 64.2 passes – at a success rate of 88% – finding his man with 3.3 long balls and making 0.5 key passes per fixture, as well as having already found the back of the net on two occasions this term.
These returns have seen the player who Spalletti dubbed “exceptional” average a simply sensational SofaScore match rating of 7.43, not only ranking him as Napoli’s fourth-best performer in the league but also as the joint sixth-best player in the top flight of Italian football as a whole – playing a key role in the club’s current top of the table standing.
As such, while it was undoubtedly an error not to pay £16m to bring Kim to north London this summer, Paratici could still spare his blushes on the centre-back by launching a £44m bid for the South Korea international at the end of the current campaign – something that, considering his remarkable returns this season, would appear extremely advisable for the 50-year-old.