Kim Min-jae looks set to leave Napoli in the summer with Bayern Munich his expected destination, and we've suspended betting on the South Korean moving in the summer transfer window.
The 26-year-old had a tremendous debut season in Serie A, winning the league with Napoli, as well as being named in the division’s Team of the Season and being named Serie A Best Defender.
PSG and Newcastle both entered the betting and were as short as 5/2 and 3/1 respectively, but as close as Manchester United appeared to completing a major signing, having been odds-on throughout, Bayern Munich now look like securing his signature.
Kim is thought to have a release clause around £55m, and the move would leave Thomas Tuchel with three top class centre-backs at his disposal, as well as Benjamin Pavard who slotted in alongside Matthijs de Ligt and Dayot Upamecano in a three-man defence, though it's worth considering that Tuchel typically opted for a back four, disposing with Julian Nagelsmann's style which often saw a four-man defence become a three-man defence in possession, with Alphonso Davies operating as an auxiliary left-winger with Pavard staying back.
While Kim is right-footed, he often played on the left of a central defensive pairing at Napoli, and may be more comfortable there than De Ligt.
At 6ft3, Kim is a physically imposing centre-back, winning 63% of his aerial duels last season; better than De Ligt's 60% and Upamecano's 50%.
And though he’s not lightning quick, his pace is good enough to keep him out of trouble, and excels over longer distances, with manager Luciano Spalletti claiming "when he starts the run with the ball at his feet, he can get it into the opposition penalty area in 5 seconds flat", and his sheer physical stature is able to cause problems for centre-forwards.
He's also an outstanding one-on-one defender, winning 86.2% of tackles compared to 62.2% for Upamecano and 62.5% for De Ligt.
On the ball, however, is perhaps where he can be a real difference-maker on the pitch.
He was used frequently in build-up under Luciano Spalletti with his range of passing allowing Napoli to move the ball up the field quickly.
Last season, he completed 75.3 passes/90 and while plenty of these were short passes, he was completing 6.31 long* passes. Though Nagelsmann was more comfortably with his centre-backs playing the ball long, Tuchel didn't shy away from it, and it could be a particularly useful asset.
*Defined as a pass longer than 30 yards