Napoli identify replacement for ‘best in the world’ star with Man Utd move expected

Napoli identify replacement for ‘best in the world’ star with Man Utd move expected

Manchester United are being strongly linked to Napoli centre-back Kim Min-Jae and the club are making plans in case of his departure.

There could be a big change at centre-back this summer, with doubts remaining over Harry Maguire.

One of the names being most strongly linked as his replacement is Kim Min-Jae, with  Tuttomercatoweb reporting ‘serious interest’ from the Red Devils back in January.

The South Korean has been a major part of Napoli’s Serie A success, and Manchester United’s interest was expanded on by Gazzetta dello Sport earlier this week.

The report stated United could offer the defender an ‘unattainable salary’, adding: “United have spotted him for some time, and the scouting work has been done down to the smallest detail.”

Napoli will capitalise on Kim’s popularity with a friendly exhibition match in South Korea in June, Yonhap News Agency reports.

But it may be the goodbye for a centre-back who Napoli manager Luciano Spalletti said this season was ‘the best in the world right now’, per Fabrizio Romano.

SSC Napoli v ACF Fiorentina - Serie A TIM
Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Napoli identify replacement

The timing of Napoli’s friendly in June is noteworthy. It is before Kim Min-Jae’s release clause kicks into effect the following month.

Goal report the release clause can be triggered by foreign teams between July 1 and 15, for a price of £52 million.

And now the newly crowned Serie A champions are already plotting the signing of a replacement, per Tuttomercatoweb.

Napoli have reportedly identified Atalanta centre-back Giorgio Scalvini as Kim’s successor, and believe a deal can be done for under £30 million. Other options have been explored too but he is their top choice.

The report states Napoli fear Kim will sign for Manchester United, a disappointment for them, even if they turn a handsome profit on the fee they bought him for.

But amid their fear, they are at least prepared, and perhaps resigned to United swooping in.

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