Kim Min-jae’s Unusual Route to Manchester United from Napoli
Unfinished Business: Military Duty Before the Move
Fresh from their Serie A triumph, Napoli’s star defender, Kim Min-jae, prepares for an unusual detour before his eminent move to Manchester United. The South Korean centre-half, known for his commanding presence on the field, is bound to fulfil an obligation closer to home first.
A Fond Farewell to Napoli
The 26-year-old high-flier has reportedly bid his teammates and Napoli supporters goodbye following a victorious 2022-23 Serie A season. His imminent departure comes hot on the heels of a breakthrough year which saw him stand tall at the heart of Napoli’s defence, earning him a high-value ticket to the Premier League.
Italian outlet, Il Mattino, brings news of a release clause specifically accessible to Premier League clubs. With this provision activated, Kim’s journey to Old Trafford is now more a matter of ‘when’, than ‘if’.
Before donning the famed red jersey, Kim has an obligation to his homeland. Every Korean citizen must complete compulsory military service, a commitment Kim is set to honour. As a result, national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann will miss the towering defender for friendlies against Peru and El Salvador. Upon completion, Kim will briefly rest before heading to Manchester.
Naples to Manchester: A Single Season Sojourn
Kim’s time at Napoli was short but memorable. Signed from Fenerbahce in the summer of 2022 as a replacement for Chelsea-bound Kalidou Koulibaly, Kim quickly made a name for himself. A string of impressive performances in Serie A, coupled with a strong showing at the World Cup finals in Qatar, ensured his value rocketed.
As Manchester United fans eagerly anticipate Kim Min-jae’s arrival, his €60 million (£52m/$64m) move signals another exciting chapter in the defender’s career. But first, he has a national duty to serve. An unusual route to the Theatre of Dreams, indeed.