Manchester United have reportedly finalised their first signing of the 2023 summer window with the exact details of the player’s move to Old Trafford revealed in the Italian media.
United have made significant strides under Erik ten Hag since the Dutchman strode into Old Trafford one year ago. And after a hefty £216m spend last summer, the Red Devils have been stirred from their malaise, finishing the Premier League season in third.
Later on Saturday, they will contest the FA Cup final and will be hoping to add to the Carabao Cup they have already collected this season.
Standing in their way at Wembley are Manchester City, who themselves are looking to complete leg two of the Treble.
Beating City is far from easy, but United have shown themselves capable with a 2-1 win over Pep Guardiola’s side in January.
But the Cityzens are the current standard setters, having won five of the last six Premier League titles.
Now United plan to back Ten Hag with another significant summer kitty in order to close the gap further.
The Dutchman now wants three marquee signings to further strengthen his squad: a new striker, midfielder and defender.
And now it appears that a move for the first of those – Napoli defender Kim Min-jae – is as good as done.
The South Korean has enjoyed an excellent season at the Diego Maradona Stadium. Helping Gli Azzurri to a first Serie A title in 33 years, he’s been a rock in the heart of their defence.
However, his deal contains a worrying €60m (£51.6m) exit clause which has the vultures circling.
Man Utd transfers: Details emerge of Kim Min-jae transfer
And reports recently claim United are to trigger that clause with reports in Italy declaring the move ‘done’.
Now Italian newspaper Il Mattino have provided more details of the move that will take Kim to Old Trafford.
They claim United have already made it clear to Napoli their intentions of triggering his €60m clause. That becomes active for a two-week period at the start of July and according to the paper is when Kim’s move to the Red Devils will go through.
As stated last weekend, angry Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is demanding United pay the full in fee. That’s opposed to the possible player exchange offer United had reportedly put on the table.
As a result, the paper claims Kim has reached a full agreement on a €9m-a-year deal to move to Old Trafford. Amounting to £150,000 a week, Kim will reportedly sign on a deal until summer 2028.
His arrival will likely spell the end of Harry Maguire’s time at Old Trafford. The club captain has fallen down the pecking order under Ten Hag. Indeed, Ten Hag has Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez as his preferred defensive partnership.
But Kim’s arrival will put pressure on the duo and he will compete for a place in the side. Victor Lindelof will likely stay as fourth-choice defender with Maguire departing, while Luke Shaw has proved himself another option too if required.
Napoli fancy Liverpool target as Kim replacement
As a result, Napoli are facing up to losing their star centre-half for the second successive summer. Having lost Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea last summer for £33m, they moved to replace him with Kim, bought for a bargain €18m from Fenerbahce.
Their priority is now on replacing Kim with another solid defensive recruit. They do have the option to buy-back Koulibaly on a cut-price fee. He’s struggled during his year in the Premier League and will likely move on.
However, De Laurentiis is likely to snub the opportunity and is instead looking to sign Atalanta defender Giorgio Scalvini instead.
The teenager is rated as one of Serie A’s best prospects, having also been linked with Liverpool.
As for Kim, Il Mattino claims he will play his final Napoli game on Sunday. The Serie A champions see out their season with a game against relegated Sampdoria in Naples.
The 26-year-old departs after one season, having played 45 times so far, scoring twice.
But a new challenge now seemingly awaits in the Premier League amid claims Kim will become United’s first signing of the summer.