Napoli are becoming increasingly worried that they’ll have to sell Liverpool target Kim Min-Jae this summer.
Kim has been one of Europe’s standout defenders this season, playing a huge part in Napoli’s first Scudetto since 1990. But as news of a special release clause in his contract has come to light, rumours that he could leave Naples have grown. Now, as per 90min, Napoli bosses are getting ‘desperate’ as they try to convince the South Korean to sign a new contract and stay at the club.
Any new deal would have the possibility of negating the current clause. According to 90min’s sources, that clause stands at between around £35m and £52m, depending on the turnover of the club trying to buy Kim. Whatever the final sum, it essentially means that any interested club could get the 26-year-old for way under value – but only for two weeks in July.
And interested clubs are seemingly aplenty. Manchester United may be the best placed right now, and have reportedly already started talks with Kim. But Liverpool are said to be ‘known admirers,’ along with a clutch of other Premier League and European clubs.
For Kim’s part, he and his agents are claimed to be ‘exploring their options’ ahead of the summer. As Napoli have continually tried to tie him to a new contract, the former Fenerbahce man has reportedly ‘kept them at arms length.’ Despite that, it isn’t yet ruled out that Kim could indeed stay on in Naples.
Kim exploring his options in the market
While Kim would be a great signing for Liverpool this summer, we don’t see just quite how he fits in right now. Given the excellent year he’s had in Naples, he’d surely expect to walk into a new club as a firm starter next season.
Although there are potentially question marks about the Reds’ defence moving forward, they do have a pretty clear two right now. Kim’s arrival may distort it, but for the moment, Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate are Jurgen Klopp’s preferred pair. And with good reason.
Obviously, the South Korea international wouldn’t displace Van Dijk in the team. No matter his slightly under-par season, he’s still Liverpool’s main man and will continue to be.
Meanwhile, there are high hopes for Konate who has been tremendous on the whole during 2023/24.
With Joel Matip aging and potentially moving on, and Joe Gomez dropping off a cliff a little, forward-planning is needed. But Kim will turn twenty-seven in November. He would be a signing very much for now. The Reds don’t necessarily need that.
And yet, we’d still love to see this happen. Kim looks to be a terrific all-round defender who is capable of playing to an extremely high level. For the price in question, he’d be able to come in as a squad player initially, before attempting to prove himself.
Anyway, if Liverpool don’t push ahead with this one, it looks like one of their Premier League rivals will. Napoli are stressing, and with good reason.