Tottenham failed to sign Kim Min-jae and the Napoli star is now ‘the best defender in the world’ with a release clause amid interest from Liverpool and Manchester United
Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti has called Kim Min-jae “the best defender in the world” in Premier League club circles.
The South Korean colossus has recently been linked with moves to Liverpool and Manchester United, with Tottenham also in the hunt for their former target, according to reports in Italy.
Spurs have been long-time admirers of Min-jae, dating back to when Jose Mourinho was at the helm.
The Portuguese tactician, who is now Roma manager, previously spoke of trying to secure the defender’s services when he was at Spurs.
“I can tell you a story about one of their players. I talked to him on FaceTime and wanted to buy him from Tottenham, but Tottenham didn’t help me,” Mourinho said.
His claim was also confirmed by Fenerbahce chairman Ali Koc a few months ago.
“Jose Mourinho wanted Kim Min-Jae (in 2020),” Koc revealed. “But (Spurs) didn’t pay the 14 million euros.”
The player now has a £43m release clause in his contract, which Spurs, Liverpool or Man United could activate as they look to bolster their respective defences.
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That could be a bargain, given the going rate for high-level defenders.
Chelsea paid £70million for Wesley Fofana last summer.
Spalletti has since hailed his star centre-back after impressing in Napoli’s 2-0 win over Atalanta at the weekend.
“Kim does at least 20 amazing things per game,” Spalletti told DAZN.
“For me, he really is the best central defender in the world. When he starts running, he can get into the opposition’s penalty area in five seconds flat.
Min-jae has been a star since joining Napoli in a £16million deal earlier in the season from Fenerbahce, playing a pivotal role as he helped his side to an 18-point lead at the top of Serie A.
It remains to be seen where Min-jae will ply his trade next season, but he is definitely a player to watch closely.
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