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Paris Saint-Germain 'leading Man United, Newcastle in Kim Min-jae race'

PSG 'leading Man United, Newcastle in Kim Min-jae race'
© Reuters
Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly ahead of Manchester United and Newcastle United in the race to sign Napoli centre-back Kim Min-jae this summer.

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly ahead of Manchester United and Newcastle United in the race to sign Napoli defender Kim Min-jae this summer.

The South Korea international is expected to depart Naples after just one season with the Partenopei, during which he played a fundamental role in their Serie A title triumph.

Kim scored two goals and provided two assists from 35 outings in the 2022-23 Italian top flight, as Luciano Spalletti's men stormed to their first Scudetto since 1990.

The 26-year-old also made nine Champions League starts as Napoli made it to the quarter-finals before bowing to AC Milan's superiority, as Kim missed the second leg of that 2-1 aggregate defeat through suspension.

Kim only joined Napoli in an €18.1m (£15.4m) deal from Fenerbahce in 2022, but his current contract only runs for another two years, albeit with an option to extend until the end of the 2026-27 season.

Napoli's Kim Min-jae pictured on November 12, 2022© Reuters

Amid links with Man United and Newcastle, Kim has apparently already said his goodbyes to his Napoli teammates, and insiders at the club expect him to head for Old Trafford.

However, The Telegraph states that PSG are currently in the driving seat to sign the centre-back in the upcoming window if he does not agree to the new contract that Napoli have offered him.

Kim's current deal supposedly possesses a release clause worth approximately £43m, and Napoli are therefore determined to tie him down to fresh terms without that modest option.

Should the Scudetto holders ultimately fail in their efforts to prolong Kim's stay at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, PSG are at the head of the queue, as no bids have been tabled from Premier League teams yet.

The Ligue 1 champions will be waving goodbye to Sergio Ramos on a free transfer at the end of the season following a two-year spell in Paris, but they are expected to sign Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar to replace the departing Spaniard.

Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar celebrates their third goal on October 12, 2022© Reuters

More defensive additions could be on the cards, though, as injuries to Presnel Kimpembe and Nordi Mukiele left Christophe Galtier short of options in defence during the second half of the campaign.

Danilo Pereira would often take on a makeshift defensive role alongside Ramos and Marquinhos, who recently committed his future to Les Parisiens until the summer of 2028.

The Brazilian also suffered from a couple of niggles in the 2022-23 season, though, which saw 18-year-old El Chadaille Bitshiabu thrown into the deep end.

PSG are already believed to have completed deals for Spanish winger Marco Asensio and Uruguayan midfielder Manuel Ugarte, but an official announcement is yet to be made for either player.

The French champions are also said to have made the decision to sack head coach Galtier after just one season in charge, with Julian Nagelsmann currently the frontrunner for the job.

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