Liverpool to activate dominant Man Utd target’s release clause, but Klopp misstep sparks Tottenham hijack
Liverpool are ‘prepared’ to meet the release clause of a dominant Napoli star who’s also wanted by Man Utd, though how Tottenham could torpedo both clubs has been revealed.
Napoli are in the midst of a truly incredible season over in Italy. Luciano Spalletti’s side hold a colossal 19-point lead atop the Serie A table and thumped Frankfurt 5-0 on aggregate in the Champions league Round of 16.
A draw that will see them face AC Milan in the quarter finals and the winner of Inter Milan v Benfica in the semis has thrown up the very real possibility Napoli complete a historic Serie A and UCL double.
Players performing out of their skin are dotted all throughout Napoli’s team at present. In attack, Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have been near unplayable. At the back, Kim Min-jae has been the standout.
The South Korea international, 26, arrived from Fenerbahce for around £15m last summer. His deal contains a release clause overseas clubs can trigger in a two-week period at the end of the current campaign. The clause is understood to be set at €50m (approx. £43m).
Man Utd have been heavily linked with signing Kim as well as Osimhen. Indeed, talk Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof could both be axed to make way for the impressive double coup has gathered pace.
However, according to Football Insider, Liverpool and Tottenham are very real threats to sign the imposing centre-half too.
READ MORE: Liverpool plot astonishing double £80m raid on same Prem club as Klopp ‘keeps close eye’ on Man Utd target
Liverpool to trigger release clause, but Tottenham hold advantage
FI categorically state Liverpool are ‘prepared to meet his release clause’.
Fabrizio Romano recently suggested a Reds addition at centre-half this summer is one to watch. Nat Phillips is ‘expected to leave’, per the Athletic, while speculation continues to swirl Joel Matip’s time at Anfield is up.
However, just because the Reds are seemingly prepared to trigger Kim’s clause, a move to Merseyside is far from guaranteed.
Indeed, the FI report adds Tottenham too like what they see from a player they first scouted when Jose Mourinho was in charge.
Spurs are reportedly ready to reignite their interest and the player’s £43m release clause means a deal won’t be a bank-breaker.
In the event both Liverpool and Tottenham – and potentially Man Utd too – activate the clause, the decision on who to join will be Kim’s to make.
On that front, FI add Champions League qualification will be ‘vital’ in who he chooses.
Spurs currently sit fourth in the table, two points ahead of Newcastle and seven ahead of Liverpool.
It’s been a dismal campaign for Klopp’s side and his potential inability to guide the Reds back into the UCL will play havoc with their chances of signing Jude Bellingham. The same is reportedly true of Kim Min-jae too.
If Tottenham can retain their grip on fourth at the expense of Liverpool, Kim is likely to spurn the Reds and favour Spurs.
Of course, Tottenham’s task would become all the more difficult if Man Utd activate the release clause too. Alternatively, Kim may decide remaining with Napoli is his best option for the time being.
In any case, what is clear is Kim is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand centre-backs in world football and a modest release clause is likely to see at least one of England’s heavyweights act this summer.
READ MORE: Explosive Man Utd and Liverpool target ‘set to leave’, but Ornstein names two Prem sides who could scupper Ten Hag and Klopp