Bayern sign defender Kim Min-jae from Napoli

AFP , Tuesday 18 Jul 2023

Bayern Munich on Tuesday signed South Korean defender Kim Min-jae from Italian champions Napoli.

Min-jae Kim
Napoli s South Korean defender Min-jae Kim clears a ball during the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals first leg football match between AC Milan and SSC Napoli on April 12, 2023 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. South Korean Min-jae Kim, Italian champion with Napoli and named Serie A s best defender last season, has signed a five-season contract until summer 2028 with Bayern Munich, the Bavarian club announced on July 18, 2023. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)


Bayern said the 26-year-old was joining on a five-year contract but did not give the transfer fee.

Kim joined Napoli last summer and anchored the defence as they won Serie A.

"It's a new beginning for me," Kim told the Bayern website. "My first goal is to play a lot of games. In addition, I want to win as many trophies as possible."

He also posted a farewell to Napoli, and departing coach Luciano Spalletti, on Instagram.

"To my passionate club Napoli, Mister Spalletti, my team mates, and above all to Napoli fans, I would like to express my gratitude."

Kim has 49 international caps and played in China and then for Fenerbahce in Turkey before joining Napoli.

"He impresses with his physical presence, as well as his mentality and speed," said Jan-Christian Dreesen, the Bayern CEO.

Bayern also unveiled Austrian Christoph Freund as sporting director.

Freund, 46, will join at the end of the summer transfer window from Austrian champions Red Bull Salzburg where he spent eight years.

He replaces Hasan Salihamidzic, the club's former player who was sacked in May along with former chairman Oliver Kahn after a relatively disappointing season for Bayern.

Salihamidzic and Kahn took the gamble of parting company with coach Julian Nagelsmann at the end of March, a gamble that did not entirely work.

The club won the Bundesliga as Borussia Dortmund slipped up on the last day of the season but went out in the quarter-finals of both the Champions League and German Cup.

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