Man City overtake Man Utd, Chelsea in race for formidable Napoli star; Guardiola has made him a top target

·2-min read
Kim-min-jae-Victor-Osimhen-Napoli Credit: Alamy
Kim-min-jae-Victor-Osimhen-Napoli Credit: Alamy

Manchester City are ahead of bitter rivals Manchester United in the race to sign Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae, according to reports.

Pep Guardiola is looking to bolster his defence in the transfer market. Now, it seems the Cityzens have made signing the 26-year-old their priority.

Min-jae has been one of Napoli’s most important players this season. So, they will not let the defender leave cheaply.

Indeed, the centre-back has made 33 Serie A appearances this term, helping Napoli secure their first league title since 1990, with five games to spare.

In the process, Min-jae has helped keep 16 clean sheets so far and scored two goals. His fine performances have caught the attention of many top clubs, but a move to the Premier League seems most likely.

A release clause in his deal – which is active from July 1-15 – allows overseas clubs to prise him away for a fee of around €52m (approx. £45.6m) this summer.

As noted by TEAMtalk, Man Utd are heavily interested in the South Korea international. But, Chelsea also have Min-jae on their radar.

In fact, they are reportedly willing to use Kalidou Koulibaly and Christian Pulisic as makeweights to convince Napoli into doing business with them instead. 

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Man City plot Min-jae move

However, according to agent Vincenzo Morabitoit is Man City who are leading the race to sign Min-jae this summer.

Speaking to Kiss Kiss Napoli, as cited by Sport Witness, Morabito said: “The fans shouldn’t get angry.

“It’s normal that we talk about the transfer market now. Kim? I think Manchester City is more likely than United.”

This comes amid reports coming out of Italy stating that Man City are firmly in the race for Min-jae. So, there certainly seems to be something to this story.

As mentioned, Guardiola is keen to sign a new centre-back this summer. Aymeric Laporte has been heavily linked with a move away from the Etihad, with Tottenham and Barcelona interested.

As a result, the Cityzens will need to bring someone in to replace him and Min-jae is an excellent option.

Strong, good in the air, competent with the ball at his feet and experience in winning trophies – Min-jae has everything Guardiola looks for in a defender.

As mentioned, the Napoli star has a release clause of around £45.6m. So, if Man City meet that amount, it will simply be a case of convincing Min-jae to join them, ahead of Man Utd and Chelsea.

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