Eric ten Hag isn’t short of centre-backs with Lisandro Martínez, Raphaël Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelöf, Phil Jones and Teden Mengi at his disposal.
However, Lindelöf isn’t commanding a regular starting place, Jones hasn’t made an appearance since May 2022 due to injuries and Mengi is still inexperienced, so Calciomercato say United are after another centre-back.
Kim Min-jae is reportedly on their shortlist, having impressed in his debut season at Napoli. The 26-year-old has made 30 appearances in all competitions since joining from Fenerbahce last summer, scoring two goals with one assist.
Napoli are top of Serie A, sitting 15 points clear of second place, and boast the best defence in the league with only 15 goals conceded from 23 games.
On that basis, it makes sense to target their centre-back who is second in the squad for tackles per game (1.7) and first for interceptions per game (1).
Jones is out of contract in the coming months and isn’t expected to stay beyond the summer, so Ten Hag is sure to replace him.
Lindelof may not want a squad rotation role next season either, meaning United might be reduced to three first-team central defenders and Mengi.
Min-jae reportedly has a €48 million (£42m) release clause, but United only have two weeks to sign him for that price, so they’ll have to move fast.
If the Red Devils wait, Napoli will hold all the cards in negotiations. The Serie A leaders have the defender tied down until 2025, so they won’t be obligated to cash in early or for cheap.
Stats from Transfermarkt and WhoScored
- Erik ten Hag has given go-ahead to sign Goncalo Ramos from Benfica
- Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘concerned’ about Newcastle time-wasting
- Man Utd ‘first on the list’ for Ansu Fati, Jorge Mendes working on summer deal
- Erik ten Hag confirms double Man Utd injury boost ahead of Newcastle clash
- Man Utd defender Luke Shaw agrees fresh four-year contract
- Sheikh Jassim believes new Owners’ and Directors’ Test will not affect his Man United takeover
- Erik ten Hag to make decision on futures of Scott McTominay and Victor Lindelof
- Manchester United’s debt rises to almost £1 billion
- Erik ten Hag wants Andre Onana to provide competition to David de Gea next season
- Preview: Newcastle United vs Manchester United – prediction, team news, line-ups