Newcastle have thrust themselves into the position of favourites to sign Napoli ace Kim Min-jae despite a move to Man Utd already being agreed, per reports.
The future of several key figures at Napoli will soon come to a head. Manager Luciano Spalletti will be the first to go, with the Serie A-winning boss due to take a one-year sabbatical.
From a players perspective, whether centre-back Kim Min-jae and striker Victor Osimhen remain in Naples is far from certain.
Both players are wanted by Man Utd and per numerous reports out of Italy, a move for Kim is advancing behind the scenes.
Indeed, Kim has been courted by the Red Devils dating back to his days in the Chinese Super League and an agreement over a deal that’ll see him earn around £150,000-a-week has reportedly been struck.
Kim’s current contract contains a release clause that activates on July 1 and remains valid until July 15. Fabrizio Romano reported the clause is worth a touch under €50m (approx. £43m).
The Sun suggested Man Utd might move early and pay over the odds to ensure they’re the ones to sign the 26-year-old. Doing so would ensure a deal is wrapped up before Kim flies back to South Korea for military service over a three-week period in late-June to July.
Corriere dello Sport then claimed Kim is prepared to fly to Manchester to undergo a medical. Il Mattino later stated Kim to Man Utd is ‘done’.
However, according to a fresh update out of Spain, Newcastle are moving to hijack Man Utd’s deal.
Newcastle favourites for Kim Min-jae?
Via the BBC, it’s stated Newcastle have joined the bidding for Kim and remarkably, it’s claimed they are ‘currently leading the race to secure his signing’.
Little else is given away on Newcastle’s efforts to sign the player, though the report appears to suggest talk of Kim joining Man Utd is not as advanced as those in Italy are making out.
Newcastle’s presence in next year’s Champions League means Man Utd don’t hold an advantage in that regard.
As such, all eyes will be on what comes next for a player the report concludes will adapt to Premier League football ‘without a problem’.