Napoli star breaks silence on transfer rumours amid reported Man United interest

Manchester United are facing a summer of uncertainty regarding their centre-backs, with two linchpins of the last three years potentially getting ready to leave the club.

Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof were both integral parts of the side for over two years under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but that has changed under Erik ten Hag.

The Dutchman has dropped both players, with Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane instead forging a seemingly unbreakable bond at the heart of United’s defence.

United are highly unlikely to extend Maguire and Lindelof’s deals at Old Trafford, with outcast defender Eric Bailly also expected to depart when he returns from his season-long loan at Marseille.

That could mean that United will choose to search the market for replacements and Kim Min-jae, the Napoli star, has been linked with a move to the Reds.

Kim is enjoying a stunning first season with the Italian giants and with roughly two months remaining of the campaign, he is looking increasingly likely to crown his maiden term at Naples with a Serie A title.

At the end of last year, when football was still at a standstill as domestic games were paused to accommodate the World Cup, Kim hit out at speculation over his future.

Now, just three months later, the defender has commented on speculation once more, admitting he remains fully focused on Napoli amid reported interest from Old Trafford.

“As you know, those rumours are not true at all,” Kim is quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.

“I want to focus on my team. I have many tournaments to play. It’s been for years I have had these rumours. It’s uncomfortable. I wish you don’t spread those stories.

“I cannot be bothered by transfer rumours because they aren’t true. Now I’m focusing on the team, rather than that kind of nonsense. There are so many important matches to go and right now I only want to focus on Napoli.”

SN’s verdict…
The interesting part of his story is that Kim reportedly has a release clause that is active for a predetermined period of time during this summer’s transfer window.

Any transfer is still unlikely to be cheap and it remains to be seen whether United are ready to make that investment for what is presumably a move to sign a backup to Martinez and Varane.

Should Maguire and Lindelof remain at the club, it is fair to assume that a move for a centre-back will be parked.

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