Man United prepare bid for £52m “iron barrel”, he’d be the perfect Martinez partner

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As Erik ten Hag looks to bolster his defence during the summer transfer window, Manchester United is reportedly preparing an offer for Napoli defender Kim Min-jae.

What’s new with Kim Min-jae joining Manchester United?
According to Corriere dello Sport, in a move that would “blow their competitors out of the water,” United is getting ready to make a bid of €60 million (£52 million) to sign the defender to Old Trafford this summer.

Kim currently has a €45 million (£40 million) release clause in his contract that could be activated by teams between July 1 and July 15, but United is attempting to move ahead of the competition for the player by making a bid that is higher than this.

What position would Kim Min-jae fill on the Man United roster?
The performances of Lisandro Martinez have been among the Red Devils’ standouts this season, and the center-back has proven to be Ten Hag’s best acquisition.

It is not by chance that United’s recent run of poor form and the Argentine’s suspension for the rest of the season have occurred at the same time. The 25-year-old has an average Sofascore rating of 7.1 across 27 Premier League appearances.

This term, he has been particularly effective, ranking second in the team for clearances per game (3.6), fourth for interceptions (1.2), and second for tackles (2.0).

Harry Maguire is obviously not up to the required standard; his horrendous error in the Europa League loss to Sevilla only served to highlight his turbulent time in Manchester. Ten Hag will be looking to provide him with a dependable partner for 2023–24.

Raphael Varane has missed 32 games since the start of last season due to injury, so it is clear that a more dependable player is required.

Given the fantastic season he had with Napoli, where he helped them win their first Serie A championship since 1990, the South Korean might be the perfect partner for him.

The 26-year-old has played in 33 league games so far, keeping 14 clean sheets while also making 1.6 tackles and 3.6 clearances per game and astonishingly winning 4.7 duels per game with a success rate of 63%.

He has been the linchpin of Napoli’s defence throughout their historic season, and while he is no pushover in possession, averaging 91.3 touches per game and completing 91% of his passes, he is also a rock-solid defender.

The center-back’s ball-playing skills are unmatched, which may allow him to shine alongside Martinez by launching attacks from the back and feeling very at ease with the ball.

It is understandable why he has earned the moniker “iron barrel” from teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and why his standing has increased during his lone season in the Italian top division.

The defender and Martinez could make an outstanding duo in 2023–24, so Ten Hag needs to move quickly to entice him to Manchester.

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