Napoli defender Kim Min Jae may only have been in Italy a matter of months, but he has already drawn plenty of eyes for his impressive performances thus far this campaign.
The South Korean, who was called up to head to Qatar as part of his national team, was signed from Fenerbahce to replace Kalidou Koulibaly, who joined Chelsea, and has been a vital cog in Napoli’s fast start to the season.
The centre-back has played all but one of Napoli’s Serie A outings, as well as all six of their Champions League group games as the Italian side topped a group including Liverpool and Ajax.
In Serie A, it is even more impressive, with the gap between the south Italian side at the top of the table and second-placed AC Milan a massive eight points, the most in any of Europe’s top five leagues, and they are one of only two sides along with Paris Saint Germain not to have lost a league game this season.
The South Korean has been a key part of this, and was named player of the month in Serie A for September, just a month after his arrival.
But upon signing, reports suggested that there is a release clause of 50m euros written into his current contract with the Italian club, something that could attract plenty of attention come the summer.
Now, Napoli director Cristiano Giuntoli has clarified that it is fact not a fixes buy-out clause, and that it is only available for 15 days, rather than the whole summer. Meanwhile, he added, the Italian side are keen to sign him to fresh terms already, removing said clause.
“It is variable, it is growing, it is linked to the turnover of the potential buyer”, he explained. “And above all, it can only be accessed in a window set for next July and open for fifteen days. But this is theory, because in practice we are already projected to re-discuss those terms”
And, with Kim Min Jae set to star in Qatar, they may need to do that sooner rather than later to thwart Premier League interest next summer.