Man Utd hero lauds ‘extraordinary’ Ten Hag target as amazing transfer given green light; Liverpool pose real threat
Former Manchester United player Park Ji-sung has heaped praise on compatriot Kim Min-jae, who could follow in his footsteps by becoming only the second South Korean to play for the Red Devils.
Park made 204 appearances for Man Utd between 2005 and 2012, helping the club to win a plethora of trophies under legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Man Utd triumphed in competitions such as the Premier League, Champions League, League Cup and Club World Cup.
Park, who mainly operated in central midfield, became a fan-favourite thanks to his unselfish and hardworking style. He earned the nickname ‘Three-Lung Park’ at Man Utd thanks to his incredible stamina, which helped his team dominate matches.
Tottenham’s Son Heung-min has followed Park’s lead by becoming a Premier League star, having scored over 140 goals for Tottenham since 2015. But centre-back Kim is the latest South Korea international to become a top performer in Europe.
The 26-year-old has emerged into a rock at the back for Napoli. His excellent performances have helped them to go 19 points clear at the top of the Serie A table. Luciano Spalletti’s side are also through to the Champions League quarter-finals, where they will come up against Italian rivals AC Milan.
Spalletti has lauded Kim this season, even going as far as calling him the ‘best centre-back in the world’.
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This will have delighted Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag, as he is planning to take Kim to Old Trafford.
Transfer insider Ben Jacobs has confirmed to TEAMtalk that Man Utd are looking into signing him. It would be an incredible swoop given the fact he is one of Europe’s most in-form players.
Liverpool, Spurs could ruin Man Utd deal
The only trouble is that Liverpool and Tottenham are also eyeing Kim. And Jacobs believes he would be more likely to go to one of Man Utd’s Prem rivals due to Ten Hag already relying on Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in central defence.
Nevertheless, Park has hailed Kim during an interview with Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb and given his blessing for Man Utd to sign the ace. The four-time Premier League champion said: “[He is] extraordinary, what a talent. He took the right step by going to play in Turkey and showed himself ready to take a step forward.
“He didn’t come directly to Italy but step by step, so he grew and there is no doubt that he is doing extraordinary things, as a technical leader and personality in Naples.”
Kim is certainly facing a big decision on his future this summer. His Napoli release clause stands at just £43million, which means they have little chance of keeping him amid interest from Man Utd, Liverpool and Spurs.
The decision will likely come down to Kim himself. He must decide which club suits his abilities best, and the one which will be able to offer him the most game time.
If Man Utd opt to continue relying on Varane and Martinez and reject the opportunity to sign Kim, they could end up regretting it. He has all the attributes to become one of the Prem’s best defenders and could resultantly shine at another English club instead.
Meanwhile, Man Utd have been told to ‘move on’ after a player rejected their advances for a second time.