Italian journalist Daniele Longo of Calcio Mercato, who correctly predicted Kim Min-jae’s move to Napoli, is confident that the South Korean will be heading to Manchester United this summer.
Kim Min-jae has been recognized as the best defender in Serie A. The Italian Serie A secretariat announced on its official social media accounts on February 2 (KST), “The best defender of the 2022-23 season is Kim Min-jae. He is a Serie A winner and a member of this season’s Serie A All-Season Team. An impressive debut. Congratulations.”
The award was well-deserved. Kim moved to Napoli for €18.05 million this season and immediately made an impact in Italy with little to no adjustment period. With his physicality and football intelligence, his forward defense, man-marking, and covering at the back were crucial in helping Napoli win their first Scudetto in 33 years.
His individual performances were also spectacular. He was named Serie A Player of the Month in September, Italian Footballers’ Association Player of the Month in October, and four times to the European Sports Media (ESM) Team of the Month.
Serie A also recognized his achievements by awarding him the best defender award. Kim was delighted to receive the Man of the Match award at home against Sampdoria on May 5, and after the game, he celebrated with the Scudetto and his new history with Napoli.
Nevertheless, Napoli are not happy. Kim has been heavily linked with Manchester United. Before and after the game, local media outlets such as Area Napoli said, “It’s only a matter of time before Kim Min-jae says goodbye to Napoli fans,” suggesting that the game against Sampdoria would be Kim’s last for Napoli.
There is a reason. Kim has been heavily linked to Manchester United. According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli insiders are “taking it for granted” that Kim will join United in the summer.
The reason is the buyout. Kim has a release clause of at least 50 million euros ($69.9 million) that kicks in between July 1 and 15. This is why Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has made it clear that all of his players are not for sale.
Longo finally spoke out, telling Calcio Mercato on Friday, “An inevitable offer has come in for the Napoli center back. After discussions with his agents, the club has put a multi-year contract worth €7 million per season on the table, and Kim Min-jae is shaking as he prepares to say “yes.”” 안전놀이터
The case for Kim’s move to Man United is gaining momentum. Longo is known for his knowledge of the player and Napoli, having correctly predicted his departure to Napoli last summer, as well as explaining every detail of the transfer process.
Man United are serious about signing Kim. “Man United’s courtship has been going on for at least two months. They will pay €60 million between July 1 and 15 to secure the South Korean defender,” explaining that Kim’s future is at Old Trafford.
Napoli have already found a replacement: Atalanta’s Giorgio Scalvini, who has been touted as Kim’s successor several times already. At the tender age of 19, Scalvini has already seen plenty of Serie A action, and his potential in terms of footwork and consistency make him a player Napoli can count on.
The final variable for United is the takeover of the club. The Glazers have not made a final decision on the sale of the club for nearly six months. Longo pinned the timing of Kim’s transfer down to “when a new owner is appointed and the club’s situation is determined.”