Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle exclusive: Ambitious PIF plan to hijack £42.7m Bayern Munich transfer fails as Man Utd target makes clear choice

Darwin Nunez transfer latest. Amanda Staveley and husband Mehrdad Ghodoussi (left) with Newcastle United manager Eddie Howe

TEAMtalk understands that Kim Min-jae has shunned late attempts from PIF to take him to either Newcastle or Saudi Arabia’s Pro League.

The South Korean defender has emerged as one of world football’s leading defenders after a colossal season at Napoli. Indeed, he proved a rock at the heart of their defence, following his arrival in a bargain €18m deal from Fenerbahce.

Being named in the Serie A team of the season, Kim illustrated very quickly why long-serving defensive lynchpin Kalidou Koulibaly was not missed.

However, in bringing Kim to the Diego Maradona Stadium, Napoli, with hindsight, mistakenly put a €50m (£42.7m) release clause in his deal.

And given his performances in both Serie A and the Champions League, it came as no surprise to see some of Europe’s biggest and best looking to prise Kim away from Naples.

To that end, Manchester United were the first to make a move and appeared in the early driving seat.

However, Fabrizio Romano has since revealed Bayern Munich are now on the cusp of finalising his signing.

The 26-year-old will this weekend undergo a medical with Bayern and has already agreed personal terms on a reported four-year deal.

And while Bayern are yet to officially trigger his release clause, that remains active until July 14. To that end, a move to Bavaria is now just a matter of days away.

Late PIF approach for Kim fails

However, TEAMtalk understands there has been late interest to try and derail his move to the Allianz Arena.

Newcastle are also long-term admirers of Kim and made a late approach to try and hijack a move. Their owners PIF – who run the biggest four clubs in the Saudi Pro League – made a big offer to the Napoli defender to try and snatch him away.

That plan could have seen Kim signing for either the Magpies or move to Saudi instead.

However, Kim has made it clear that he has no interest in signing for either Newcastle or moving to the Middle East.

And the South Korean’s mind is made up with his move to Bayern now expected to be made official in the next week.

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