In the wake of news that Newcastle have entered the race to sign Kim Min-jae (27, Napoli), Manchester United (United) manager Eric ten Hagh (53) has urged the club to “invest”.
“Mourinho insists the club must invest in the summer if they are to compete for trophies next season,” British media outlet 90min reported on Tuesday.
United finished the 2022-2023 English Premier League (EPL) season in third place. That was better than their sixth-place finish the previous season. With their momentum back, United’s goal is to win the league next season.
“The club is moving in the right direction, but we need to bring in players to take it to the next level,” Van Gaal told the media after the EPL final against Fulham on Sept. 29 (a 2-1 United win).
“There has to be a huge investment (in the summer transfer window),” he said, “We still have a long way to go. If you want to compete for trophies, you have to invest. If you don’t, you’ll lose out to other clubs. “If you want to compete for trophies, you have to invest, otherwise you will be behind other clubs.” He emphasized that he hopes to win the title next season with strong investment.
At the center of United’s plans for the summer transfer window is the acquisition of a new number nine. According to 90min, United want to sign one of Harry Kane (Tottenham), Victor Osimhen (Napoli), Dusan Blahovic (Juventus), or Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan).
“Defender Kim Min-jae has also been linked with a move to United,” the outlet added.
Even Van Gaal is urging the 안전놀이터 Red Devils’ hierarchy to invest heavily. If the club remains passive, they could miss out on players who are on their shortlist.
Until recently, United were strongly linked with Kim Min-jae. However, amidst the uncertainty of a possible sale, the club is suddenly in danger of losing the lead to ‘oil money’ Newcastle.
The Red Devils will need to solidify their defense next season. With first-choice defender Harry Maguire becoming an “automatic door” due to his sub-par defense, a defensive transplant has become a necessity. The Sun recently reported that United would be willing to pay a buyout to bring in Kim Min-Jae.
However, Newcastle, who are well-funded, are also keen to sign the rare ‘monster’ defender. They are as active as Man United because money is not an obstacle.
After stints in the Korean K League 1, Jeonbuk Hyundai and the Chinese Super League, Kim made the move to Fenerbahçe in 2021.
In just one season with the club, Kim won the Italian Serie A title. He helped the team reach the top. Led by a solid defense, Napoli won the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years, since the 1989-1990 season with the late Diego Maradona.
Recently, Newcastle’s local newspaper, the Jordi Boot Voice, reported that “Newcastle are said to be fans of ‘the world’s best center back’ Kim Min-jae,” and that Newcastle are keen to trigger his buyout clause. European soccer transfer expert Fabrizio Romano echoed the sentiment, saying that Newcastle are pushing to sign Kim. This is not good news for United, who have been leading the race to sign the player.