Arsenal join Manchester United in race to sign 26-year-old defender: Reports

Arsenal and Manchester United to compete for Napoli defender
Arsenal and Manchester United to compete for Napoli defender

Arsenal are reportedly interested in signing Napoli defender Kim Min-Jae, who has also been linked with a move to Manchester United.

Min-Jae, 26, has been exceptional for Napoli since joining the club from Fenerbahce last summer. He has helped them keep 16 clean sheets in 34 league appearances en route to their first Serie A title since 1990.

Min-Jae was also excellent at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, helping South Korea reach the Round of 16 of the competition, keeping one clean sheet.

The centre-back has now been linked with an exit from Napoli in the summer. As per 90min, his contract has a release clause of somewhere between £35-£52 million. The clause, though, will only be triggered for the first two weeks of July.

As per The Express, Napoli are desperate to keep Min-Jae beyond this summer, with his contract expiring in 2025. However, Arsenal and Manchester United are both interested in signing the defender.

The Gunners provided an excellent Premier League title challenge to Manchester City but faltered in the final few weeks, winning just two of their eight games. One of the main factors behind this arguably was William Saliba's injury. Rob Holding and Jakub Kiwior failed to replicate the French defender's performances, who helped keep 11 clean sheets in 27 league games.

Manchester United, meanwhile, also have two solid first-team defenders in Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane. However, in their absence, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof have failed to impress.

Hence, Kim Min-Jae's addition would strengthen both Arsenal and Manchester United immensely. Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) are also interested in signing the South Korean defender.

Arsenal and Manchester United set to return to UEFA Champions League next season

Both Premier League giants failed to qualify for the UEFA Champions League last season, hence, competing in the UEFA Europa League this season. Arsenal were eliminated in the Round of 16 by Sporting CP while Sevilla beat United in the quarter-finals.

However, both sides are now set to return to arguably the biggest club competition next season. The Gunners have already secured their second-place finish in the Premier League table. With a 4-1 win over Chelsea on May 25, Manchester United also confirmed their place in the top four.

This is, incidentally, the first time since the 2014-15 season that both clubs have qualified for the Champions League together. The Red Devils previously took part in the competition in the 2021-22 season. Arsenal, meanwhile, last competed in the Champions League in the 2016-17 season.

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Edited by Aditya Singh
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