The Korea Herald


S. Korean defender Kim Min-jae joins German champions Bayern Munich

By Yonhap

Published : July 19, 2023 - 09:06

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South Korean defender Kim Min-jae on Wednesday (Bayern Munich's official Twitter) South Korean defender Kim Min-jae on Wednesday (Bayern Munich's official Twitter)

South Korean defender Kim Min-jae has joined German football giants Bayern Munich, a move that ends weeks of speculation on the next destination for the gifted center-back.

Bayern Munich announced Tuesday that they have signed Kim away from Serie A champions Napoli to a five-year contract. Kim will wear No. 3.

Bayern Munich will be Kim's fourth club in four seasons. After ending a three-year stint with Beijing Guoan in 2021, Kim moved to Turkiye to play for Fenerbahce in the 2021-2022 season. Then it was off to Napoli for the 2022-2023 campaign, with Kim helping the club win their first Italian top flight title in 33 years.

Kim was also named the best defender of Serie A, an honor that further drove up the stock for the 26-year-old.

"FC Bayern is a dream for every footballer. I'm really looking forward to what's to come in Munich," Kim was quoted as saying on the German club's website. "It's a new beginning for me. I'll continue to develop here. In discussions with the club, it was made clear to me from the start how interested they are in me. My first goal is to play a lot of games. In addition, I want to win as many trophies as possible."

Offering a rare combination of physicality, speed and high-end skills, Kim is considered one of the top center-backs in Europe. He had also reportedly drawn interest from Manchester United in the Premier League, but ultimately signed for Bayern Munich, who have won the past 11 Bundesliga titles and have also collected multiple trophies at domestic cup competitions and continental events.

"He impresses with his physical presence, as well as his mentality and speed," Bayern Munich CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said. "We're pleased he can immediately take part fully in pre-season and firmly believe that he will also excite our fans with his style of play."

Kim, who made his professional debut with South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in 2017, becomes the third South Korean in the Bundesliga, joining Lee Jae-sung of Mainz 05, and Jeong Woo-yeong of VfB Stuttgart. (Yonhap)