MANCHESTER UNITED have reportedly received some bad news in their pursuit of Napoli and South Korea defender Kim Min-jae.
The 26-year-old centre-back has impressed for his country at the World Cup in Qatar, playing an integral part in them reaching the last 16 for just the third time in their history.
His superb form at international level comes after an excellent start to the season in Italy.
Min-jae joined Napoli from Fenerbahce for £16million in the summer and made 20 appearances before the World Cup break, scoring two goals.
And his presence at the heart of their defence has seen them open up an eight-point lead at the top of the Serie A table.
They also won their Champions League group, beating Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers along the way to set up a second round clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.
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His swift rise has grabbed the attention of some of Europe's biggest clubs.
United are one of those, but Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are also monitoring his progress.
Erik ten Hag's men were hopeful a £39m fee would seal a deal for the South Korean given that is the release clause in his Napoli contract.
However, Calcio Mercato are reporting that Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis already wants to rip up his current deal – and the existing release clause – in order to tie him down for the foreseeable future.
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If the Italians were to pen a new contract for Min-jae, that would make him a far more expensive acquisition for United.
Ten Hag is keen to add to the centre of his defence despite establishing an impressive partnership between Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez.
The accomplished pair have kept club captain Harry Maguire out of the side – although the England international is currently showing his quality for the Three Lions at the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Min-jae's ability will be tested on Monday when South Korea come up against tournament favourites Brazil for a place in the quarter-finals.
They reached the second round after scoring an injury-time winner against Portugal – a goal which saw them leapfrog Uruguay on GOALS SCORED in an incredibly dramatic conclusion to Group H.
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