Manchester United have identified the Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae as their main target to strengthen in defence. The South Korea international’s release clause will be valid in July and United are in contact with his agents.
Newcastle are also interested in the 26-year-old, who joined Napoli from Fenerbahce last July and was an important part of their Serie A title success. Manchester United are understood to be monitoring the French market for fallback options if they do not land Kim, who played in South Korea and China before moving to Turkey in 2021.
This will be a busy transfer window for Erik ten Hag and he is ready to allow players including Harry Maguire, Dean Henderson and Donny van de Beek to leave. United’s manager does not intend to keep Wout Weghorst, who has been on loan from Burnley. The striker has attracted interest from Everton and clubs in Spain and Germany and would cost about £8.5m.
Maguire is due to discuss his future with Ten Hag next week and there is a mutual realisation that a parting of the ways would be best. Maguire has fallen down the pecking order at United and the pursuit of Kim is another indication that his future lies elsewhere. The 30-year-old wants regular football, which he knows would strengthen his chances of keeping his England place.
Van de Beek is to explore transfer options after failing to hold down a place, going on loan to Everton and missing most of this season through injury. With United trying to strengthen in midfield and in talks over a deal for Chelsea’s Mason Mount, Van de Beek accepts it time to leave and expects to be fit for pre-season training.
The United goalkeeper Dean Henderson is close to joining Nottingham Forest, where he was on loan this season, on a permanent deal.