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Man Utd facing transfer problem because of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez
Manchester United have sealed transfer deals for the likes of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez in recent years.
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Manchester United will find it hard to sign Napoli star Kim Min-jae because of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, it has been claimed. Erik ten Hag is eyeing a deal for the South Korea international as the summer transfer window creeps closer. And any potential signing would plunge the futures of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof into doubt.
Manchester United signed Varane from Real Madrid in the summer transfer window of 2021, with Martinez then arriving from Ajax back in August.
And the pair have since established themselves as Ten Hag’s main centre-back pairing, helping the Red Devils enjoy an impressive season so far.
United have been credited with an interest in Kim, who has helped Napoli to the top of the Serie A table.
But journalist Ben Jacobs, speaking to Team Talk, thinks they’ll struggle to acquire the 26-year-old due to the fact they already have Varane and Martinez at their disposal.
He told TEAMtalk: “Clubs looking at centre backs will inevitably be scouting Kim Min-jae.
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“[Napoli boss] Luciano Spalletti has already termed him ‘one of the best centre-backs in the world’ and you only have to look at his form and intelligence and awareness to understand why and there are Premier League clubs looking for sure.
“Manchester United are in a difficult position with that type of player because he sees himself as a starting centre-back and they’ve obviously got Martinez and Varane there.
“But there’s other teams that are looking to drop somebody straight into their starting lineup.”
Jacobs then proceeded to express a belief Liverpool and Tottenham could be in the mix to land the defender.
“Tottenham are another club that have scouted the player and they would be looking to bring in a starting centre-back, as with Liverpool as well,” he added.
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“And I think that that would give those two clubs a slight advantage over Manchester United, because if Erik ten Hag is going to play a back four and Varane and Martinez are fit, then it becomes extremely difficult to persuade a player in the form and with the potential of Kim Min-jae to go to Old Trafford over those two other clubs.
“Especially when you consider that he’s not an 18-year-old.
“He’s 26 years of age, so he will want regular and immediate game time. The other thing to point out in all of this is just that he only joined Napoli in July.
“So as a consequence, he’s played less than 35 games for the club at the time of recording.”
Should Kim end up moving to United, however, it’s possible that move would trigger two departures.
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Lindelof is down in the pecking order, with the Sweden international being linked with a move to Inter Milan.
And Maguire has made just 11 appearances this term, too.
However, speaking after United beat Real Betis on Thursday, the England international insisted he was focused on getting back into the team.
"I have an important role on and off the field at this club and every day I try and make this club succeed whether I'm playing or not," Maguire said.
"Obviously I want to play and start more games, but I'm playing my part on and off the field.
"It's nice to get out there and lead the team, which is the most important part for myself and for the group."
Maguire has been part of the United set-up since 2019, having been signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
As for Lindelof, the Swede was recruited by Jose Mourinho in 2017.