Manchester United are eyeing a move for Napoli defender to bolster backline

What’s the word?

The Red Devils are among a select group of Premier League clubs interested in signing the South Korea international, though the Serie A club is seeking to reach a new agreement in order to raise the 26-year-€45 old’s million (£39 million) release clause.

“Tottenham remain interested in Kim Min-jae,” the transfer insider wrote on Twitter. Real Madrid and Manchester United are both interested in him. However, Napoli is sure that he will remain and sign a new deal with a release clause that is approximately twice as high as his present one of €45 million.

Having just recently acquired the former Fenerbahce player on a £16 million transfer over the summer, Luciano Spalletti and company are ‘confident’ of locking down the center-back to a contract extension before the conclusion of the season, according to the attached piece for 90min.

This comes after a recent article in The Mirror mentioned United’s interest, with the Old Trafford team reportedly passing up the chance to sign the 6’3″ colossus for just £3 million in the summer of 2021.

Maguire upgrade

Ten Hag’s rumored interest in bringing in a new center-back coincides with speculations that club captain Harry Maguire, who cost £80 million, may be let go at the end of the current campaign.

The former Leicester City player, who has only started three Premier League games for United thus far this season, has largely watched events unfold since the ɗisaster at Brentford in August, when he was ousted in favor of summer acquisition Lisandro Martinez.

The 29-year-old has struggled to replicate such form at the Theatre of Dreams, with pundit Jamie Carragher suggesting that it is now “too late” for Maguire to save his United career. The England international has once again impressed for his country, having started all five games for the Three Lions at the World Cup and recording a 7.34 average match rating, according to SofaScore.

Ten Hag might receive a significant upgrade for the team if Kim is considered as a replacement. The 46-cap menace is presently thriving in Italy for the league leaders, allowing only 12 goals in 15 league games this year.

The former Beijing Guoan star, who was given the nickname “iron barrel” by teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia for his rock-solid presence in the backline, is a genuinely dominant force. He is in the top 11% of players in his position in Europe for aerial duels won, while Maguire only ranks in the top 19%.

Kim appears to be significantly more skilled in possession, rating in the top 20%, while the latter only rates in the top 40% in terms of pass completion.

The rising Napoli colossus performed admirably for his nation in Qatar, winning 93% of his total duels (including 100% of his aerial duels) throughout the course of his three appearances. At the World Cup, the current United captain only prevailed in 68% of his total duels and only 61% of his aerial duels.

Kim would therefore appear to be a better quality fit for the Red Devils management in 2023 than the struggling Maguire, as the Sheffield-born loser has recently appeared devoid of confidence and form in the red jersey.

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