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‘It’s true’ – Fabrizio Romano clarifies Man Utd move for ‘dominant’ Liverpool target whose release clause will be triggered

Napoli stars Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Kim Min-jae

Fabrizio Romano revealed the lengths Napoli will go to to prevent Man Utd or Liverpool signing a “dominating” player, though the presence of a release clause could leave them stranded.

It’s been a truly remarkable campaign over in Naples, with their 33-year wait for an Italian top flight title poised to end. Napoli currently lead second-placed Lazio by a whopping 19 points. With only 11 games remaining, the Serie A crown is all but theirs.

A first ever European Cup/Champions League is also in their sights. Napoli are in the easier half of the draw on paper, with just AC Milan in the quarter finals and then the winner of Benfica vs Inter Milan standing in-between them and the final in Istanbul.

Exceptional performers are dotted throughout Luciano Spalletti’s side, though the undisputed leader at the back is South Korea international, Kim Min-jae.

The 26-year-old centre-half was signed from Fenerbahce for just £15m last summer. That quickly proved a steal, with Kim establishing himself among the finest centre-backs in Europe over the last eight months.

However, the reported presence of a release clause is giving Napoli sweaty palms. Indeed, speculation has swirled Kim can be plucked during a two-week period in the summer window for around €50m (approx. £44m).

The clause is understood to only be available to overseas clubs. With good reason, the only thing worse than seeing their best defender plucked is strengthening an Italian rival in the process.

Kim has been heavily linked with Man Utd who have reportedly put Harry Maguire up for sale. What’s more, Victor Lindelof recently teased a summer exit while on international duty with Sweden.

If either defender does depart, Erik ten Hag will require a new centre-half and Kim’s release clause makes him excellent value for money.

Liverpool too are thinking along those lines, with Football Insider recently reporting the Reds are ‘prepared to meet’ Kim’s release fee.

Jurgen Klopp’s side could axe centre-back trio Joel Matip, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams at season’s end in what’s shaping up to be a pivotal window at Anfield.

Now, speaking via his YouTube channel, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has weighed in on Kim’s future.

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Kim Min-jae clause clarified

“Very good player,” said Romano. “He’s having a fantastic season in the Champions League and Serie A… an absolutely dominating centre-back.

“It’s true that there is a release clause. The clause is a bit less than €50m and will be active for a few days in July of this summer.

“So there is the possibility of triggering the clause to sign Kim Min-jae.”

Romano went on to namecheck Man Utd alongside a move for Kim, though did not mention Liverpool.

In any case, a move may be about to become far more complicated with Napoli scheming to do something about the release clause.

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Napoli’s plan to thwart Man Utd and Liverpool

“But the point is the player also has to [agree to a move] and Napoli are trying to offer him a new contract that’ll keep him,” continued Romano.

“So Man Utd are among many clubs monitoring Kim, but Napoli have to make a decision and they are pushing to extend his contract and change the clause.”

Whether that entails upping the release clause amount of removing it from his proposed new deal entirely wasn’t specified by Romano.

However, if it’s the latter and a new deal is signed, the chances of Kim moving this summer would be virtually nil.

Indeed, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis previously confirmed the club have no debts when discussing why they’re well-placed to retain Victor Osimhen. As such, Napoli are under no obligation to cash in on their finest assets.

A suitor’s only hope may therefore lay in Kim himself angling for a move. Either that, or Kim refusing to sign a new deal which would leave the €50m clause in place.

On that front, Romano suggested Kim is solely focused on helping Napoli lift a potential Serie A and UCL double this season. But beyond that, Romano hinted all bets are off.

Of course, Kim signing any new deal Napoli put forward between now and when his clause becomes active in July would be a clear indicator he’s not going anywhere.

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