Napoli bittersweet on ‘golden return’ Kim Min-jae, “Already packed, parting ways with Kim Min-jae confirmed”, Man Utd rumored to be in the mix

Napoli’s media outlets have confirmed the parting of ways.

After completing the 2022-2023 season, Kim touched down on South Korean soil at Incheon International Airport on Saturday. Kim missed the final match against Bologna at home on the 5th due to accumulating cautions. He lifted the trophy for Best Defender and greeted the fans. Afterward, he boarded a plane back to Korea. Dressed in a comfy T-shirt and cap, he had the Serie A championship medal around his neck and the Serie A Best Defender trophy in his hand. The two trophies are a testament to his performance this season. About 100 fans at the airport greeted him with chants of “Kim! Kim! Kim! Kim!” that echoed from Napoli. “I feel like I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do,” Kim said.

The Italian media seem to have watched Kim’s departure with bitterness. It was the last time. Neapolitan media officially announced the farewell of Kim Min-jae and Naples at the same time. On the 6th (KST), Calcio Napoli 24, a local newspaper in Naples, said, “Kim Min-jae is ready to say goodbye to Naples. He has packed all his things. He has left his home in Posillipo. Calcio Napoli added, ‘The Napoli squad presented Kim Min-jae with a jersey. Even if the vacation is over, Kim will not return to Napoli. Areanapoli said, ‘Kim Min-jae is ready to leave Napoli without even having time to finish the party. Napoli will lose a great idol.

According to the Napoli media, Kim is expected to leave this summer. Kim Min-jae is one of the hot commodities this summer. Forbes, an American business magazine, published an article titled ‘Man Utd’s target Kim is this summer’s bargain’. ‘Kim’s buyout fee would be the 10th highest ever for a center back in the English Premier League, but it would be a good deal considering his value,’ Forbes said. “He has good aerial competitiveness and can intercept the ball. He also has the passing ability to build up.” “He is entering his prime as a defender. He needs very little time to adapt to the English game. He even has military service benefits. It’s not a risky move to sign him.

No explanation needed. Kim conquered Italy in just one season. He was awarded the ‘Best Defender in Serie A for the 2022-2023 season’. Kim beat out “teammate” Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli) and AC Milan fullback Theo Hernandez. Kim is the first Asian player to win Serie A’s best defender award since it was first established in the 2018-2019 season. It is also the first time in history that a member of the winning team has won the award. Kim became the “best defensive player” in Italy, the “home of defense” that gave birth to the combative defense. Kim was also named to the official Serie A Team of the Year, reaffirming his status as one of the best players in Serie A this season.

Kim had one of his best seasons in 2022-2023. Kim signed for Napoli last summer. After losing “legend” Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea, Napoli selected the South Korean center-back, who was in top form for a season at Fenerbahçe. Napoli paid a buyout clause of €20 million to acquire Kim Min-jae, who had been actively courted by Stade Rennes, in a move that bordered on a hijacking.

It turned out to be the best move ever. Starting at an unfamiliar left center back position, Kim quickly worked his way into the heart of the team after a strong start to the season. In September of last year, he was named Serie A’s Player of the Month. It was the first time an Asian player was named Serie A Player of the Month since the 2019-2020 season. In October, he was honored with the Italian Footballers’ Association Player of the Month award. He made a strong impression early on, earning the nickname “Iron Pillar. After 35 league appearances, Kim was ranked number one among Serie A center backs by various statistical sites.

He was even rated as the best center back in the world beyond Italy. In an aggressive Luciano Spalletti style of play, Kim has done an incredible job with his aggressive defense. He was praised by legends such as Fabio Cannavaro and Alexandro Costacurta. He has been called the best center back of the season alongside the likes of Man City’s Jubeng Dias and John Stones, Barcelona’s Ronald Araujo, and Real Madrid’s Éder Militant. Despite only playing one season, he’s in Napoli’s all-time top 11.

Behind the brilliance of Kim Min-jae, Napoli won their first league title in 33 years. It was only the third time Napoli had won the title since the 1986-1987 and 1989-1990 seasons, when the late legendary Diego Maradona played. Kim Min-jae became the first Korean to win the Scudetto. In Europe’s top five leagues, he is only the third South Korean to win the trophy after Park Ji-sung of Manchester United and Jung Woo-young of Bayern Munich. It is the first for a defender. It is also the first time an Asian player has won the Serie A title since Hidetoshi Nakata of AS Roma in the 2000-2001 season.

From winning the title to winning the best defender award, Kim has accomplished everything he could in just one season in Italy. He has been linked to some of the best clubs in the world, including Manchester United, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Newcastle, Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain.

What makes the race for Kim even more intense is the existence of a buyout clause. Kim inserted a buyout when he joined Napoli last summer. ‘Kim has a buyout clause in his contract that allows him to leave Napoli this summer,’ said Areanapoli. It is a very real risk for president Aurelio De Laurentiis. ‘Kim can exercise his option for two weeks from July 1 to 15 to freely leave the club (abroad only). He is under contract until 2025.” “The buyout price could range from €45 million to €60 million. The price is linked to a parameter on the turnover of the buyer. A buyout would be the winner of the battle for Kim Min-jae. Considering his performances this season, it’s a bargain. That’s why many teams looking to bolster their defense are drooling over him.먹튀검증

With so many buyers, Napoli may not even be able to keep him. Even though Spalletti said, “I want him to stay,” when he left the club, Napoli realizes that it’s an impossible mission. Initially, they tried to get him with various ideas, such as re-signing him and touring Korea, but the number of teams that want him is increasing. These are all clubs that can afford to pay Kim’s buyout. His price tag is only getting higher.

Kim plans to stay calm and see what happens. After conquering the Turquoise and Italian scene in one season, Kim is ready for his next challenge. For now, it looks like the English Premier League. United have been very active in their pursuit, with reports appearing on a daily basis. Napoli’s media have taken the move as a given. The transfer fee, salary, and length of the contract are being reported. There’s even talk of him finding a house. At this point, it would be strange for him not to go to United. The Red Devils have identified Kim as an extraordinary defender to replace the Rafael Varane-Lissandro Martinez duo, whose weaknesses include durability.

Upon arrival, Kim will undergo three weeks of military training starting on the 15th. This will prevent him from joining Jürgen Klinsmann’s A team for their June A match. Kim will take the time to rest and continue his schedule.

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