Arsenal, Everton in battle for £13.5m ‘South Korean Van Dijk’

Three Premier League clubs are interested in signing South Korean prospect Kim Min-jae from Chinese Super League side Beijing Guoan, reports indicate.

Kim has established himself as one of the best defenders in Asia thanks to his dominating physical presence. That 6’3″ stature has earned him the nickname of “The Monster”.

Physicality is not the only quality that makes Kim an appealing proposition. Scouting reports have also described as being comfortable with the ball at his feet.

According to The Guardian, Beijing Guoan are prepared to sell Kim for £13.5m this summer. And the 23-year-old would prefer to move to the Premier League, where Everton are interested.

Carlo Ancelotti currently has Yerry Mina, Mason Holgate and Michael Keane as his main centre-back options. The Toffees spent big on Jean-Philippe Gbamin, also capable of playing at centre-back, last summer – but injury has severely restricted his progress in his first season.

Watford and Southampton have also asked about Kim, who has already earned 30 caps for South Korea. He was a member of their Under-23 squad that won the Asian Games in 2018 – along with Tottenham’s Son Heung-Min.

Watford’s interest has already been covered by A Bola, who also mentioned Arsenal as a possible destination. The Guardian‘s report does not mention any interest from the Gunners, though.

European suitors queue up for Kim

It is not just the Premier League where Kim is admired. RB Leipzig, Lazio and PSV Eindhoven are monitoring Kim, The Guardian state. Porto have also been mentioned by both The Guardian and A Bola – who referred to him as the ‘South Korean Van Dijk’.

Kim missed out on the 2018 World Cup through injury, but has established himself as an important figure for South Korea. He previously won back-to-back league titles in his home country with Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, before moving to China.

If Beijing Guoan do sell him, they will make a tidy profit. Having only spent £4.5m on him originally, they could now treble their initial investment.