Tottenham Hotspur target Kim Min-Jae to stay put at Napoli in January
The 26-year-old has been a key cog in Luciano Spalletti’s side that is currently sitting pretty at the top of the Serie A table. He has made 20 appearances for the Gli Azzurri this season across all competitions, scoring two goals in the process.
Tottenham were considered the favourites to land the player for £43.5million, thanks largely to the presence of his international teammate Son Heung-min within the ranks at N-17. However, it would appear that the North Londoners will now have to wait.
No chance for Kim Min-jae to leave in January, despite rumours. He’s gonna complete the season with Napoli as Khvicha Kvaratskhelia. 🔵🔒 #Napoli— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 19, 2022
Napoli are preparing new contracts for both Kim and Kvara as they hope to extend both agreements in 2023. pic.twitter.com/syUvd6nRgq
A centre-back with excellent ball-playing ability, Kim-Jae has the ability to thrive as a starting calibre player for a top European side. A strong tackler with an impressive passing range to boot, the 26-year-old has the right weapons to thrive in England.
Adding him to the roster will give Antonio Conte more options in defence. The Italian already has Cristian Romero, Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez at his disposal. Given that he often likes to deploy a three-at-the-back system, strength in depth is crucial in the position.
Min-Jae is currently at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. While South Korea aren’t expected to go all the way, they have enough talent in their ranks to cause an upset or two. A strong performance from the Napoli ace is certain to further increase his transfer value.
At the same time, the tournament also gives Spurs scouts the opportunity to study the player in close detail. After all, it does not serve our purpose to go all-in for a player with just one good season under his belt.
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Conte has not shied away from demanding more signings in the January transfer window and a new defender could be on the horizon. Spurs have a long way to go before they establish themselves as top dogs and bringing in the right players is but one element in the process.