Romano says Manchester United have been working £43m transfer for 7 months

Romano says Manchester United have been working £43m transfer for 7 months

Manchester United began their pursuit of Napoli’s Serie A-winning centre-back Kim Min-Jae all the way back in October 2022 with the defender reportedly keen on a move to the Premier League.

Is it a stretch to suggest that, if Sir Jim Ratcliffe or Sheikh Jassim had already wrestled control from the Glazer family, Kim Min-Jae would already be a Manchester United player?

Perhaps that’s a little premature. The transfer window hasn’t even opened yet, of course, and there remain a multitude of clubs in pursuit of the South Korea international. Including a Paris Saint-Germain side preparing to bid farewell to Sergio Ramos (RMC Sport).

Then again, according to Neopolitan publication Il Mattino, Manchester United already have an agreement with Kim regarding personal terms. The 26-year-old appears to favour a move to England rather than France, while a £43 million release clause is likely to make him even more alluring to a Red Devils side who will need to box clever during a summer impacted by Financial Fair Play concerns.

South Korea vs Ghana: FIFA World Cup 2022
Photo by Ercin Erturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Manchester United favourites to sign Napoli’s Kim Min-Jae

Fabrizio Romano, meanwhile, insists that Manchesteer United ‘started to work on this deal at the end of October and the beginning of November’. Any deal to bring Kim to Old Trafford, then, will be at least seven months in the making.

“They have been sending their scouts,” Romano tells Give Me Sport. “They have always been in attendance to follow Kim Min-Jae with Napoli.

“He has been putting in excellent performances and he has been the best centre-back of the season, for sure, in Serie A. He is doing very, very well.”

Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti goes one step further. Kim, he says, is not only the best centre-half in Serie A but the best anywhere in Europe. Standing at 6ft 3ins, and as comfortable with the ball as he is without it, Kim is often referred to as the ‘Korean Virgil van Dijk’ for a reason, the one-time Fenerbahce giant combining Lisandro Martinez’s progressiveness with Raphael Varane’s pure defensive instincts.

Kim’s representatives, meanwhile, claim that United have been watching him since he was plying his trade in China with Beijing Guoan from 2019 to 2021.

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