Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd to ‘immediately’ meet asking price of top defensive target after arguments between agent and director

Kim Min-jae and Krzysztof Piatek

There has been growing tension between the agent of Man Utd defensive target Kim Min-jae and the Napoli sporting director, according to a report in Italy.

Kim has been a revelation for Napoli this season during his debut season in Serie A. After joining them from Fenerbahce as a replacement for Chelsea’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Kim has adapted seamlessly to Italian football.

Napoli are comfortable at the top of the Serie A table, which has led to plenty of attention in more of their key players.

For example, striker Victor Osimhen could be pursued by Man Utd as a new target man. In addition, Kim has also become of interest at the opposite end of the pitch.

According to recent reports, Man Utd are looking at the 26-year-old as someone who could compete with existing starters Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez. They will be able to sign him if they activate his release clause during a 15-day window of opportunity in July.

Now, the situation is developing. According to Calciomercato.it, Napoli might already give Kim a new contract to adjust his release clause and increase their own chances of keeping him.

But the report claims Kim’s agent is “repeatedly arguing” with Napoli director, Cristiano Giuntoli.

Behind their disagreement is the fact that Kim’s representatives are requesting Napoli double their client’s salary. However, that would take him up to earnings of €5.2million per season.

The problem is that Napoli have put it upon themselves not to pay any player more than €3.5m per season. Therefore, the demands for a new contract for Kim are above what the Serie A leaders are comfortable with.

In turn, the friction could lead to a transfer away from the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona for Kim. According to the report, Man Utd are the main suitors – ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid – for the South Korea international.

In fact, the Premier League side could “immediately” meet the value of Kim’s release clause with a bid when the opportunity arises in July.

The release clause has been reported as being worth somewhere between €45m (£39.7m) and €50m (£44.1m), although various outlets seem to have slightly different ideas.

Kim could evolve Man Utd defence

Still, if Kim can translate his talents to the Premier League, he could be a worthwhile investment for Man Utd. Varane will turn 30 in April, while club captain Harry Maguire might have to leave in the summer.

Therefore, it may help to bring in another centre-back in their prime. In that regard, Kim is one of the standout options as things stand.

His initial contract with Napoli, though, is due to last until 2025 and can be extended until 2027. If his agent and Napoli officials can heal their current differences, there could be an even longer arrangement.

It would increase Kim’s cost, but until anything changes, Man Utd will be able to prise him away at a specific moment this summer.

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