Newcastle could hijack Man Utd’s bid to sign Kim Min-jae as ‘secret talks’ held

Newcastle could hijack Man Utd’s bid to sign Kim Min-jae as ‘secret talks’ held

Manchester United could miss out on summer target Kim Min-jae after Newcastle reportedly held talks with the Napoli defender’s representatives.

Kim has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford in recent months, with Italian outlet Il Mattino even claiming on several occasions that a deal between Napoli and United was done.

The South Korea international can effectively only move clubs between July 1 and 15, due to a reported release clause in his contract that is only active between those dates.

Italian outlet Calciomercato claim that the release clause is set at €60 million – and that the defender is ‘ready to say yes’ to a move.

Kim does have to complete military service, which is obligatory in South Korea, later this month. It can last for up to two years, but the 26-year-old has earned a sporting exemption after being part of the gold medal-winning national team at the 2018 Asian Games.

As a result, the defender can complete his military service over a shortened period of time – with Goal claiming he will complete a move to an English club after it is concluded.

However, a move to United is not yet finalised – and Newcastle are now reportedly in the race to sign him.

Newcastle ‘could hijack’ Kim move

According to The Sun, the Magpies held secret talks with Kim’s representatives at St James’ Park after one of the side’s final Premier League games of the season.

It is claimed that manager Eddie Howe wants to sign another centre-back this summer to provide competition for Fabian Schar and Sven Botman, and the Magpies are keeping tabs on Kim.

Furthermore, the report adds that the South Korean is said to want a move to England this summer after a single season at Napoli – and has two Champions League clubs vying for his signature.

Despite Newcastle’s interest, United are still considered favourites to sign the player, who spent time at Fenerbahce before moving to Naples as Kalidou Koulibaly’s replacement last summer.

Calciomercato claim that Napoli are weighing up a move for Atalanta wonderkid Giorgio Scalvini as Kim’s replacement if he does depart – with the 18-year-old having been linked with Liverpool last year.