Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Tottenham reignite interest in World Cup defensive standout Erik ten Hag would love at Man Utd

Antonio Conte, Erik ten Hag Man Utd v Tottenham

Tottenham Hotspur are reportedly very keen on signing Manchester United target Kim Min-jae, who impressed for South Korea in the World Cup.  

Spurs enquired about signing the Napoli centre-back in November, but have now reignited their pursuit amid interest from United and Real Madrid.

Antonio Conte is no stranger to bringing Serie A stars to North London, and Kim would be a valuable addition to the Spurs back line.

The 26-year-old has performed admirably for Napoli since joining the Italian side for £16m last summer.

The Korean has featured in all but one of Napoli’s matches so far, with his team remaining unbeaten after 15 games.

Kim has helped the Naples outfit to five clean sheets and scored two goals, showing he has the quality to perform at the highest level.

He also held his own at the World Cup, helping South Korea to reach the knockout stages for only the third time in their history.

Conte looks to add another Serie A star to his ranks

Spurs fans will be hoping that playing alongside Heung-min Son in Qatar may have convinced Kim to favour a move to Tottenham, but Napoli desperately want to keep their man and other big clubs are also vying for his signature.

Conte has a history of bringing players from the Serie A to the Premier League, with the likes of Ivan Perisic, Dejan Kulusevski and Cristian Romero all proving to be valuable additions.

Kim could be another success story in this regard, but Spurs may have to pay a high price to get their man.

TEAMtalk reported last month that Spurs are willing to splash the cash on the Korean, but they will have to match the £43m release clause in his contract to get the deal done.

However, when you consider that Manchester United turned down the chance to sign Kim for £3m just 18 months ago… that is a hell of a lot of money.

The Daily Mirror revealed last week that Conte sees the defender as one of his top targets, but Erik ten Hag also wants him to replace Harry Maguire

Kim exit doubts questioned

The big question, however, is whether the defender would want to leave Italy at all.

As mentioned, Napoli are yet to be beaten in the Serie A this season, and Kim has been a consistent starter under manager Luciano Spalletti.

The Italian club also topped their Champions League group, and are set for a favourable Round of 16 tie against Eintracht Frankfurt in February.

Recently speaking about the defender’s future, Spalletti suggested he is not worried by the transfer speculation.

Spalletti said: “It’s hard to imagine Kim leaving Napoli because he is happy in this city and this club.

“This is the right place for him,” he added. 

Another factor to consider is that there is no guarantee Tottenham or United will be in the Champions League next season, as the battle for the top four is more competitive than ever.

Spurs currently sit in fourth place, while United trail them by three points. But, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle all in with a chance of qualification, both clubs could miss out.

With this in mind, if Kim does favour a move to the Premier League, it could be a risky move.

Nevertheless, with the financial pulling power of Tottenham and United, nothing is out of the question.

If both sides decide to meet the South Korean’s £43m release clause in January, it could simply be a case of whoever offers the defender the biggest salary.

After all, money talks, especially in football.

READ MORE: Antonio Conte future: Fresh report reveals details on next round of Tottenham contract talks