Fenerbahce turn down Napoli offer for Kim Min-jae: Reports

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Fenerbahce turn down Napoli offer for Kim Min-jae: Reports

Kim Min-jae [REUTERS/YONHAP]

Kim Min-jae [REUTERS/YONHAP]

 
Kim Min-jae's time in Turkey doesn't appear to have made him any less attractive to Europe's bigger leagues, with reports Tuesday that a major Italian football club attempted to bring him on board early in the January transfer window. 
 
Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported Tuesday that Kim's club Fenerbahce turned down an offer from Italian Serie A club Napoli for both the Korean defender and teammate Attila Szalai. Napoli instead brought in Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe on loan.
 
According to the Hurriyet report, Kim was the Italian club's first choice. After also failing to acquire Szalai, the club moved on to Tuanzebe as a temporary solution — Napoli does not have the option to buy his contract at the end of the season.
 
Kim joined Fenerbahce in August from Beijing Guoan, where he had played for two years. At the time, he had been linked to a number of top European clubs including Portuguese side Porto, Italian Serie A club Juventus and the Premier League's Tottenham Hotspur. On multiple occasions, reports had gone as far as to say that a deal has been struck, but this is the first time that Kim has actually traveled to a club to undergo medical checks.
 
Kim is a highly rated defender who offers a formidable physical presence in the backline that could see him hold his own against more physical players anywhere in the world.
 
Kim is a highly rated defender who offers a formidable physical presence in the backline that could see him hold his own against more physical players anywhere in the world.
 
Kim has 38 caps for the senior Korean men’s team and appeared for the U-23 team eight times, including at the 2018 Asian Games, where he earned a military exemption. Kim’s international performance has gained him a lot of attention, earning him the nickname The Monster for his ferocious defense during the 2017 Asian qualifier for the 2018 Russia World Cup.
 
Since joining Fenerbahce he has become a regular fixture in the Turkish club's back line, appearing in 17 Super Lig and six Europa League games in just four and a half months.
 
Fenerbahce will be back in action next week with a league game against Adana Demirspor on Jan. 10. Later in the month, Kim will undoubtedly be called up to join the national team as Korea continues the third round of Asian qualifiers for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. 


BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
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