Journalist hints Liverpool could potentially pounce on transfer target’s ‘delicate’ situation

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Liverpool could be ready to pounce on the ‘delicate’ contract situation surrounding one transfer target, according to a journalist from Italy.

The Reds have recently been linked with Kim Min-jae, who has a £42m release clause at Napoli (Ben Jacobs for CaughtOffside).

Speaking to Football News 24, Luca Cerchione said that the Serie A leaders hope to hand the South Korea defender a new deal, although they’ll only go as high as €2.5m (£2.2m) per season in order to protect their wage structure.

The journalist added that, if a solution can’t be agreed, the 26-year-old ‘could be playing elsewhere already next season’, with both Liverpool and Manchester United ‘on him’, with the situation described as ‘delicate’.

He also clarified that Kim’s release clause would be €30m (£26.5m) higher for clubs who aren’t in the Champions League than those who do qualify for the competition.

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If Liverpool are serious about trying to sign the defender, the increasingly likely scenario of them missing out on Europe’s premier club tournament could perversely work to their advantage, given the lower release clause they’d need to pay.

Of course, the preference would be to earn a place in the Champions League for next season, but if the Reds were to miss out, at least Cerchione’s revelation may offer a silver lining.

Furthermore, as per FBref, Kim is currently earning £54.5k per week at Napoli, which would place him towards the lower end of the pay scale at Anfield.

In theory, Liverpool should then be able to offer him an increase on that amount without endangering their own wage structure, especially with much higher earners like Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bobby Firmino either likely or certain to leave when their contracts expire in June.

These developments appear to offer encouragement to FSG if they’re fully intent on trying to bring the South Korean to Merseyside.

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