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Man United close-in on Kim Min-jae as Napoli eye replacement

According to Italian outlet Il Mattino, Manchester United are closing in on signing Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae this summer.

Erik ten Hag’s side have earmarked Min-jae as their main defensive target for the upcoming transfer window and Il Mattino claim that the 26-year-old is on the verge of joining the club. They further mention that the Serie A outfit could look to re-sign Chelsea star Kalidou Koulibaly as a replacement for him.

Min-jae arrived from Fenerbahce last summer to fill the void left by the Senegalese but the latter could return to Naples this summer. As per Il Mattino, Koulibaly is keen on a reunion with the Italian champions but Napoli will only attempt to re-sign him on loan while paying 50% of his weekly wages at Chelsea.

Likely deal

United ended their league campaign on a high with four wins on the trot. In the process, they also booked their spot in next season’s Champions League. This should enhance their spending capacity during the next transfer window.

Min-jae has been touted to join United over many weeks and Il Mattino continue to insist that a transfer is on the cards. The centre-back currently has a £52 million foreign release clause in his contract which will become active from July 1-15.

With Champions League football secured, they should fancy their prospects of landing the central defender. Min-jae would be a splendid addition to the ranks and could help United push for the Premier League title.

The South Korean is superb with the ball at his feet and likes to clear his lines regularly. He also has a strong presence in the box and could be a direct competitor to Raphael Varane for the right centre-back role next season.

Meanwhile, Koulibaly’s return to Napoli could be a likely outcome. The 31-year-old has looked out of sorts in the Premier League and could welcome a return to the Italian top-flight where he was a leading star with Napoli.

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