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Liverpool sent club officials this week to visit “sensational” star with £39m release clause



Liverpool sent club officials this week to visit “sensational” star with £39m release clause

The Napoli defender is attracting significant interest ahead of the summer window.

Liverpool sent scouts to watch Napoli defender Kim Min-Jae in action on Sunday ahead of a potential move to the Premier League, according to reports.

What’s the latest on Kim to Liverpool?

The South Korean only arrived at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium last summer, but having become a regular feature of Luciano Spalletti’s first-team, starting 33 of the 34 Serie A games this season, has caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

The Daily Mail have reported that the Reds, alongside top-flight rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, have all expressed an interest in the 26-year-old, who has a €45m (£39m) release clause included in his contract which is set to be active for the first two weeks of the upcoming transfer window.

However, the 6 foot 3 colossus still has another two years to run on his current deal so should any potential suitors not pay the specified fee in the timeframe mentioned above, the Italian giants have set their increased price tag.

According to 90min, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs and the Red Devils all had officials in attendance to assess Kim during Napoli’s 1-0 victory over Fiorentina on Sunday. The Premier League quartet are all “long-term admirers” of the centre-back, and his side have finally “accepted” that they may have to sanction his sale this summer.

The Serie A defender’s £39m release clause will be “difficult” to reach for any club considering the regulations surrounding Financial Fair Play, but it’s stated that his side would “find it hard” to turn down any offers that arrive at their door “in excess” of €60m (£52m).

Should Liverpool submit an offer for Kim?

Liverpool clearly hold a strong enough interest in Kim to deploy scouts to watch him live, and having been dubbed an “iron barrel” by Napoli teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia and “sensational” by BBC pundit and former Red Danny Murphy, FSG should certainly consider testing the water by tabling a bid in the weeks ahead.

The World Cup and Champions League participant currently averages 3.6 clearances and 2.8 aerial wins per league game alongside recording a 90.8% pass success rate, as per WhoScored, which would rank him the second-highest for completion among the regular features of the current squad on Merseyside.

Kim, who also has the versatility to operate at right-back alongside his natural position in the heart of the backline, is additionally capable of making a positive impact at the opposite end of the pitch having scored two goals and provided the same number of assists this season, so is a double threat with his difference-making in both halves.


Jurgen Klopp explains coaching change as’new’Liverpool starts to take shape for next season

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Liverpool have ripped up their usual training and coaching methods as they continue moving towards a “new LFC” under his tenure.

Having endured an underwhelming campaign that has left them with only an outside chance of Champions League qualification, the Reds are enjoying an impressive end to the season with last Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Brentford their sixth successive Premier League triumph.

The run – their best such sequence in more than a year – has coincided with a change in formation that has seen Trent Alexander-Arnold regularly push from right-back into central midfield, with the England man providing six assists in his last seven games to triple his tally for the term.

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Defeat to Bournemouth and the Champions League exit against Real Madrid in March marked a line in the sand for Liverpool, who used the subsequent international break to begin formulating new tactical methods.

Klopp has previously suggested “the future has started already” at Anfield, and the Reds boss has explained how his coaching staff have chosen not to wait until next season to start implementing a new-look approach.

“We have started a new process for us,” he said. “It feels for us a breath of fresh air. The coaching is different, the sessions are different, everything is like we have opened up our own chest. Let’s go for that, we have nothing to lose anymore in this year. So why don’t we start the new LFC now already – and that’s what we did.

“I see a lot of good moments, to be honest, but of course we have to adapt, we have to learn, we have to improve 100% and we will.

“At the moment we’ve been having three games a week so there’s not a lot of improvement possible apart from telling the boys ‘that was good’ or ‘that was not so good’.”

After five games in 15 days, Liverpool don’t play again until the trip to struggling Leicester City on Monday, with a home game against Aston Villa and a final-day clash at rock-bottom Southampton to finish the season.

The Reds took advantage of the lengthy period until the next game by taking a short break in Barcelona at the start of this week, and Klopp is confident the squad are fully on-board with the recent changes.

“We have a long week to train, so that will help,” he said to LFC TV. “The boys have bought completely into it. Everybody has wanted a solution for the situation we are in and even if it was a bit late (in this season) we could deliver that. Together with the boys we have started something new, and I’m really happy about that. It’s pretty special.

“For most parts of the season, it hasn’t been really easy to enjoy. At the moment we have made it a bit more easy to be with us again and I’m really happy about that. For too long we were not ourselves. But we know in our best spells we had super difficult games which we brought somehow over the line, so we should not forget that.”

Having suffered the consequences of a condensed and shortened pre-season preparation last summer, Klopp is keen to ensure Liverpool are given the best chance of hitting the ground running at the start of next season.

The Reds will reconvene at the AXA Training Centre on July 8 for a week training before heading to Germany for an extended training camp. They will then head further afield for what is likely to be a week-long tour, with Singapore expected to be the destination.

Another example of Liverpool aiming to be strong for the start of pre-season was the decision for Thiago Alcantara to recently undergo surgery to resolve a long-term hip complaint, rather than attempt to play through the remainder of this campaign.


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