Chelsea have offered two expensive signings including one bought by Todd Boehly as sweeteners to help snatch a dominant Napoli star away from Man Utd, per a source.
Napoli have cruised to their first Serie A title since the Diego Maradona days this term. Standout performers are littered through Luciano Spalletti’s side, with Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and Victor Osimhen near-unplayable in the final third.
At the opposite end of the pitch, South Korea international, Kim Min-jae, has been a veritable rock in defence.
The 26-year-old was an €18m arrival from Turkish side Fenerbahce and wasted no time making a mockery of that valuation.
A release clause in his deal – which is active from July 1-15 – allows overseas clubs to prise him away for a fee of around €52m (approx. £45.6m) this summer.
Man Utd and Liverpool have both expressed interest in snapping up the dominant centre-half. In the event he moves to Old Trafford, it’s been speculated he’d oust Harry Maguire who has tumbled down the pecking order under Erik ten Hag.
Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb reported Man Utd were mulling whether to pay a small premium of €3m on top of the €52m fee in order to wrap up a deal in the month before the clause becomes active.
However, according to a French journalist (as cited by Caught Offside) Chelsea have made their own move to hijack the deal.
Chelsea serve up two costly signings
Caught Offside report the Blues have offered two players – Kalidou Koulibaly and Christian Pulisic – as separate makeweights to try and cajole Napoli into doing business with Chelsea instead.
Pulisic was a £58m signing from Borussia Dortmund back in 2019, though has barely got a look-in under three different managers this season.
The American is understood to be seeking a move away this summer as he goes in search of more regular gametime.
Koulibaly, meanwhile, was ironically the man Kim replaced at the heart of Napoli’s backline.
The Senegalese set Chelsea back £33m last summer, though has not showed the type of form that made him one of the world’s most feared centre-backs while in his prime in Naples.
The report states Chelsea offered the pair to Napoli to try and ‘facilitate’ a move for Kim. However, their efforts appear to have failed, with the journalist adding it’s Man Utd who’ve taken the lead.
As such, Chelsea will either have to match Man Utd when it comes to the size of the bid, or serve up a player Napoli are more receptive to taking on board.
If they do neither, a deal is there for the making for Manchester United.