Manchester United have the chance to end their trophy drought this weekend when they host Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.
It is all-set to be a season-defining fortnight for Erik ten Hag with United set to face Barcelona in the Europa League second-leg with an FA Cup tie against West Ham United to follow.
United are still the only Premier League team with a chance of winning all four competitions and it is safe to say that the Dutch boss has done a remarkable job in such a short span of time.
Defence improved but long-term question marks remain
He had inherited a broken team riddled with holes throughout the squad and under-performing stars to boot. Ten Hag’s first job was to fix a leaky defence which conceded a record 57 times last season.
It has been a far smoother ride this time around after the additions of Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro but the former Ajax coach will be aware of the need to keep improving if his team are to start winning trophies consistently.
*Min-Jae Transfer Rumours*
🔴🔴🔴Manchester United are willing to pay the release clause of €48m to sign Napoli defender Kim Min-jae, as Corriere dello Sport said.#MUFC #ManUtd #ManUnited #ManchesterUnited #MUMUfootball pic.twitter.com/CDe8OB1ljL
— MUMU Football (@MUMUfootball) February 23, 2023
The Red Devils have four centre-backs to choose from with Luke Shaw filling in at times this season and doing a great job. But there remains uncertainty surrounding club skipper Harry Maguire‘s future.
He has not played as much and he seems to be fifth-choice under the manager at the moment and the former Leicester City man could look elsewhere in search of regular minutes.
One option who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford all throughout the season is Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae.
Kim has transformed Napoli
The South Korean had large boots to fill when he joined the Serie A giants following the departure of Kalidou Koulibaly. But he has proved to be an astute signing and elevated his team even further.
His release clause, which is only available for foreign clubs, stands at a relatively cheap price of €48m according to Corriere dello Sport although whether he would want to move remains to be seen.
The report has mentioned that club president Aurelio De Laurentiis is “already projected to retouch his salary” while also increasing the clause to €65m.
United “would like to” trigger the current release clause but there is a deadline for clubs to trigger it. It is reportedly valid for only 15 more days which means United need to hurry or pay a premium next season.