Erik ten Hag still wants Manchester United to sign Napoli centre-back Kim Min-Jae despite interest from rivals.
Liverpool and Tottneham have both registered an interest in the defender who is attracting attention from across the globe.
The relatively recent arrivals of Lisandro Martinez last summer and Raphael Varane the summer before last might make it a little bit harder for the club to sign another defender.
Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, who used to be regular starters, are still in and around the team but often feature on the bench.
Axel Tuanzebe, who is on loan at Stoke City, and Phil Jones are still with the club and will certainly need to leave before any new arrivals can be considered.
According to TeamTalk, Ten Hag is keen on the centre-back deal despite Spurs and Liverpool being favourites.
Ben Jacobs, who broke Man United’s interest in Kim Min-jae a couple of months ago, has now revealed that a transfer might not happen.
He told the outlet ‘Clubs looking at centre backs will inevitably be scouting Kim Min-jae.
“[Napoli boss] Luciano Spalletti has already termed him ‘one of the best centre-backs in the world’ and you only have to look at his form and intelligence and awareness to understand why and there are Premier League clubs looking for sure.
“Manchester United are in a difficult position with that type of player because he sees himself as a starting centre-back and they’ve obviously got Martinez and Varane there. But there’s other teams that are looking to drop somebody straight into their starting lineup.”
“Tottenham are another club that have scouted the player and they would be looking to bring in a starting centre-back, as with Liverpool as well.
“And I think that that would give those two clubs a slight advantage over Manchester United, because if Erik ten Hag is going to play a back four and Varane and Martinez are fit, then it becomes extremely difficult to persuade a player in the form and with the potential of Kim Min-jae to go to Old Trafford over those two other clubs.
“Especially when you consider that he’s not an 18-year-old.”
It seems like Ten Hag will have to do a lot of shifting around to a defence that has already been changed quite frequently in recent years.
The partnership of Martinez and Varane has been blossoming since the start of the season with the pair winning the Carabao Cup already this season.
It appears unlikely that the manager will change his options going into next season unless bad form prevails.
This could make any deal for a new centre-back complicated as they will no doubt want to start every match.
Jacob’s continued the interview by talking about Kim Min-jae’s age and the sort of playing time he would want
‘“He’s 26 years of age, so he will want regular and immediate game time. The other thing to point out in all of this is just that he only joined Napoli in July.
“So as a consequence, he’s played less than 35 games for the club at the time of recording.”
It has been reported for a couple of months now that Napoli are planning on entering contract talks with the defender to discuss new terms.
The Red Devils will need to act fast if they want to secure a target they’ve been following for most of the season.
Follow The Peoples Person on Twitter or Instagram for all the latest news as it happens and to join in the conversation.