Kim Min-jae’s move to Bayern Munich is imminent. Kim Min-jae has been dropped from Napoli’s preseason roster, and the Bavarians have deposited the buyout clause.
Napoli released its preseason training roster on Friday (July 15). Players who played A matches last month have been rested. Along with Victor Osimhen and Hvitsa Kvarachelia, Kim Min-jae’s name was dropped from the roster. It was a sign that Kim was close to a move.
It was also reported that Munich had triggered his buyout clause. On the 14th, Italian media outlet Corriere dello Sport reported, “Munich has completed the transfer of 50 million euros (approximately KRW 711 billion) to Napoli. Kim Min-jae’s transfer announcement is close. Kim Min-jae will join Bayern Munich’s tour of Japan after his vacation.”
In just one season, Kim Min-jae has attracted the attention of big clubs. Napoli lost Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea and chose Kim as his replacement. Kim joined Napoli from Fenerbahce ahead of the 2022-23 season. Koulibaly has always been considered a top center back in recent years. At the time of the transfer, there were many doubts about replacing him.
Kim Min-jae was unproven in Europe. He was dominant at the back for Fenerbahçe, but that was in the Ligue Turkique. Compared to the top five leagues in Europe, such as the English Premier League (EPL) and Serie A, it’s true that the Ligue Turkique is not at the same level. Amid mixed reviews, Kim moved to Napoli.
Worries about replacing Koulibaly were unfounded. He came into his own immediately. He played solid defense and even scored a goal against Monza in the second round. With Kim in charge of the defense, Napoli exploded onto the scene and climbed to the top of the league. For his performance, Kim was awarded the September Player of the Month award.
Kim was a wall of defense all season long. Napoli reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) for the first time in club history and won the Scudetto for the first time in 33 years since Maradona. As a key player in the title run, Kim was named Serie A’s Best Defender and Serie A Team of the Season 메이저놀이터.
Naturally, Kim attracted a lot of attention ahead of the transfer window. A number of big clubs were interested, with Manchester United being the most heavily linked. However, there was a twist. United’s transfer market was disrupted by the club’s takeover, and Munich swooped in to sign Kim. The situation quickly changed. While United hesitated, Munich actively expressed interest, prompting Romano to add the phrase “Here we go,” a phrase he repeatedly shouts whenever a transfer is imminent.
Even if Kim Min-jae joins ‘mega-club’ Munich, there’s no need to worry about the defense. Luca Hernandez has moved to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), and the Upamecano was shaky last season. With a season of top-notch defense under his belt, Kim Min-jae shouldn’t have to worry about competition for a starting spot, and he’ll fit right in with Thomas Tuchel’s tactics of moving between the back four and three. Kim has experience playing at three-back at Fenerbahçe, and has been a solid backup for the South Korean national team and Napoli as part of the back four.
The local German media has also talked about Kim’s potential as a starter. The German kicker said on April 4, “There is a very good chance that the starting back line for Bayern Munich in 2023-24 will be Kim Min-jae and Matthijs de Ligt. Upamecano will have to win the hearts of the coaching staff with his performances to make it into the top 11.”
Thomas Tuchel has been targeting a treble since his arrival in Munich, but has had to settle for the league title. Munich gnashed their teeth. They’ve made a number of moves to strengthen their squad this season and are determined to challenge for the treble again. If Kim’s move to Munich is confirmed, he will become the first Korean to play for a “mega club” since Park Ji-sung.
Kim Min-jae possesses all the attributes that are currently required of a center back. He’s a big guy at 6-foot-2 and has the speed to match any attacker. For a team that plays high up the line like Munich, he has to be aware of the space behind the defense at all times. Kim Min-jae is quick on his feet and can cover a lot of ground. He is a great resource for Munich’s tactics. He also has good build-up ability. He can build up from either the left or right center back, and he can also convert long kicks.
Tuchel has been aiming for a treble since his arrival in Munich, but has had to settle for a league title. Munich gritted their teeth. This season, they’ve been working hard to strengthen their squad and are determined to challenge for the treble again. After leading Napoli to their first title in 33 years, it will be interesting to see what kind of record he can set in Munich.
Munich will begin pre-season training in Germany on the 15th. The team will then travel to Japan and Singapore for an Asian tour. Munich will play three games in Asia. In Japan, they will play Manchester City on Aug. 26 and Kawasaki Frontale on Aug. 29. In Singapore, they will face Liverpool on August 2. Local speculation is that the Asian tour will be the time for Kim to join Munich. If Kim joins the Asian tour, we could see him face off against City’s Holland.