Man Utd can sign ‘best player in the world’ in his position after huge Tottenham transfer failure, as manager sings his praises
A manager has waxed lyrical about a Manchester United transfer target whom Tottenham failed to sign during Jose Mourinho’s tenure, calling him the ‘best player in the world’ in his position.
Man Utd are enjoying a good season under Erik ten Hag, having won the Carabao Cup last month. That trophy, which was the club’s first piece of silverware since 2017, will have Ten Hag hoping he can make Man Utd one of the great forces in European football once again.
The Red Devils are not quite in the title race as that trophy looks set to be won by either Arsenal or Manchester City. But Man Utd can still ensure they are in the Champions League next season by maintaining third spot. They have a two-point lead on fourth-placed Tottenham, plus a game in hand.
The Carabao Cup might not be the only piece of silverware Ten Hag guides Man Utd to this campaign, either. They remain the Europa League and FA Cup.
The signings of Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen in particular have shown that Ten Hag knows what he is doing in the transfer market. He will look to continue making the squad his own this summer by offloading unwanted players and bringing more top-class stars into the squad.
One player Man Utd are likely to begin talks for is Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae. The South Korean has been a rock at the back for Napoli, helping them to breeze to the top of the Serie A table and reach the knockout stage of the Champions League.
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Kim was previously a target for Tottenham. Former manager Mourinho revealed how he wanted to sign the star for Spurs, only to be held back by the club’s hierarchy.
Kim was playing for Turkish side Fenerbahce at the time and their president, Ali Koc, has since confirmed that Spurs failed in their pursuit of the defender. They only had to pay €14m for him but refused to meet this price tag.
Spalletti heaps praise on Man Utd-linked star
Kim is now protected by a £43m release clause in Naples, but even that looks far too low now. If Man Utd can sign the 26-year-old for that price, then it could prove to be an absolute steal.
Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti is certainly under the impression Kim is worth far more than £43m. Following Napoli’s 2-0 win over Atalanta at the weekend, during which Kim impressed again, Spalletti gave his player the highest possible praise.
“Kim does at least 20 incredible things per game,” Spalletti told DAZN (via talkSPORT).
“For me, he truly is the best centre-back in the world. When he starts to run, he can get into the opposition penalty area in five seconds flat.”
Kim has the physical prowess, defensive knowhow and mentality to become a top defender in the Premier League.
Ten Hag already has strong centre-back options in the form of Martinez and Raphael Varane, while Harry Maguire is also in his squad. However, Maguire could leave Old Trafford in the summer and this would make space for Kim in the squad.
He would then be able to challenge Varane and Martinez for their starting spots. And going off current form, it would not be a surprise if he muscled one of them out of the way.
Manchester City have shown just how beneficial it can be to have three or four high-quality central defenders in a squad. So if Man Utd want to challenge their local rivals for league titles, then this is the sort of transfer they need to make.
Meanwhile, Chelsea could ruin Ten Hag’s plan at Man Utd by getting to a Bayern Munich ace first.
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