Serie A giants Napoli are reportedly ready to cancel the £39million release clause in a current star’s contract amid growing links to Manchester United.
Erik Ten Hag is said to be targeting another centre-back move, either in January or next summer, as Harry Maguire’s long-term future is still very much up in the air.
The Red Devils skipper has been outstanding for England at the World Cup so far. However, Ten Hag is not impressed and wants a further addition to create more competition at Old Trafford.
One such player on United’s radar is Napoli’s South Korean star Kim Min-jae.
The Serie A side took a punt on the 26-year-old when a number of interested clubs would not. To that end, it’s clearly paying off so far.
Kim has been excellent since signing from Fenerbahce for around £15m over the summer. Not only has he impressed domestically but also in the Champions League, while carrying that form into the World Cup.
South Korea have the daunting task of facing Brazil in the last 16 after qualifying from the group.
All eyes will be on the intriguing clash but also how Kim copes with Brazil’s dynamic forward players.
De Laurentiis looking to act fast over Kim exit concern
But off the back of how well he is doing in his first season in Italy, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis is already looking to hand Kim a new contract.
De Laurentiis wants the centre-back’s release clause to be removed or increased. That is after it was revealed the South Korean’s representatives have already been contacted by a few clubs.
Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez have given United a steady base to build from. But the former is three years older than Kim and is not quite the same player he was in Spain.
And with Maguire potentially being offloaded, if United can recoup a reasonable fee, Kim would be a strong option for Ten Hag to call on.
It just now remains to be seen whether Napoli can convince the player to tear up his old contract for a new one.
That would then give De Laurentiis carte blanche to add a new escape clause more in keeping with Kim’s performances.
Ten Hag’s United are not back in action until December 21 when they host Burnley in the Carabao Cup.