Luciano Spalleti is set to leave Napoli at the end of the season after bringing the first Serie A title in 33 years to Naples. The Italian tactician wants to take some time to rest because he’s “pretty tired”.
Spalleti isn’t the only lauded figure in Naples who will be saying goodbye to the crowd at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Sunday.
Italian outlet Il Mattino (via SportWitness) claim Kim Min-jae’s “farewell is confirmed” and the Sampdoria fixture will be his last day of work with Napoli. The 26-year-old is suspended for the game as he received his fifth yellow card of the season against Bologna last weekend.
Manchester United are being pushed as his next destination, with the report suggesting the Premier League giants will trigger his €60m release clause, valid between July 1st and July 15th.
Raphael Varane will lead United’s defence against Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday. But the Frenchman’s worrying injury record and his well-documented struggles in possession have led to United looking for a new centre-back in yet another summer transfer window.
United’s interest in signing Mason Mount, another midfielder who’s most comfortable with the ball higher up the pitch, signals Erik ten Hag’s desire to increase his backline’s influence in build-up rather than using a deep-lying midfielder to progress the ball from deep.
In that regard, interest in Kim makes sense, as the Napoli centre-back has shown he’s a top defender in and out of possession.
While Kim appears destined to leave, Napoli’s much-admired duo up front – Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are expected to continue combining to great effect next season as well. It is understood the latter is set to sign a new contract. Osimhen, despite interest from several clubs, is likely to be priced out of a move.