Napoli’s lawyer, Mattia Grassani, has once again discussed Kim Min-jae’s contract on Italian radio.
The South Korean centre-back’s outstanding performances for his new club in Serie A and the Champions League have led to links being attached between him and Manchester United.
Kim was purchased by the Azzuri for approximately €18 million from Turkish side Fenerbahçe following Kalidou Koulibaly’s departure to Chelsea.
Filling Koulibaly’s significant shoes immediately, Kim won Serie A Player of the Month for his efforts during September. He has started all but one game across all competitions this season as Napoli sit atop both Serie A and their Champions League group.
With Raphaël Varane’s perennial struggles with injury and Harry Maguire’s abysmal form, Erik ten Hag could be keen to examine centre-back options in the market to strengthen this area within his squad.
CNN Turkey had first called United’s interest in Kim – making them one of many suitors amongst Europe’s elite. They signalled that a reason for this hyper-interest is due to the centre-back’s relatively low release clause in his contract.
Grassani then spoke to Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli about such rumours suggesting that United and others would be keen to purchase Kim in January. The lawyer seemed to squash any ongoing discussion, stating that the winter window would be an incredibly optimistic time for any formal approaches to be positively received.
Gianluca DiMarzio then stated why this is the case – Kim Min-jae indeed holds a release clause of €50 million, but this only becomes active in the summer of 2023.
Grassani has now further elaborated on the details of the clause to the same radio station:
“In the summer, the Kim Min-jae clause will be valid for 15 days. The will of the club where there are clauses is to limit the validity of the clause for a very short time. For the simple reason that, in this way, any departures and replacements can be evaluated in time.”
Moreover, this clause is only available for foreign clubs. Napoli are notoriously difficult to negotiate with and such caution in preventing a potential move to a direct rival is a shrewd but common tactic.
For a player garnering extreme attention from major clubs across the top Leagues in Europe including United, an intense race to acquire his signature between July 1st and July 15th can be expected.