CBS Sports reporter Ben Jacobs believes that Tottenham Hotspur have an advantage over Manchester United in the race for Kim Min-Jae as the Napoli man would know he is more likely to be a regular starter at the North London club.
Football Insider reported over the weekend that Spurs are expected to reignite their interest in Kim in the summer after Napoli turned down the Lilywhites’ advances for the defender in January.
The report revealed that the centre-back has a release clause of £43m in his contract, which is active for two weeks in July, with Tottenham contemplating activating the clause.
However, the publication revealed that the South Korean was also on the radars of both Man Utd and Liverpool, and suggested that Champions League qualification could prove crucial for all three clubs in winning the race for the player.
Jacobs believes that Spurs might have a better chance than United of snapping up Kim since the Red Devils have a settled centre-back pairing at the moment.
The journalist told TEAMtalk: “Clubs looking at centre-backs will inevitably be scouting Kim Min-Jae.
“[Napoli boss] Luciano Spalletti has already termed him ‘one of the best centre-backs in the world’ and you only have to look at his form and intelligence and awareness to understand why and there are Premier League clubs looking for sure.
“Manchester United are in a difficult position with that type of player because he sees himself as a starting centre-back and they’ve obviously got Martinez and Varane there.
“But there’s other teams that are looking to drop somebody straight into their starting lineup.
“Tottenham are another club that have scouted the player and they would be looking to bring in a starting centre-back, as with Liverpool as well.
“And I think that that would give those two clubs a slight advantage over Manchester United, because if Erik ten Hag is going to play a back four and Varane and Martinez are fit, then it becomes extremely difficult to persuade a player in the form and with the potential of Kim Min-Jae to go to Old Trafford over those two other clubs. Especially when you consider that he’s not an 18-year-old.
“He’s 26 years of age, so he will want regular and immediate game time. The other thing to point out in all of this is just that he only joined Napoli in July. So as a consequence, he’s played less than 35 games for the club at the time of recording.”
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Kim certainly appears to have all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.
However, I am not sure if he will be desperate to leave Napoli, given that the Serie A club look set to win the Scudetto and also have a great chance to go all the way in the Champions League, given how well the draw has worked out for them.
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