Bayern Munich sign Napoli defender Min-jae Kim


Bayern Munich have completed the signing of South Korea defender Min-jae Kim from Serie A champions Napoli.

Kim, who joined Napoli from Turkey's Fenerbahce last summer, has signed a five-year deal until 30 June 2028 at the Allianz Arena.

"FC Bayern is a dream for every footballer," Kim told the Bayern website. "I'm really looking forward to what's to come in Munich. 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."

One of Napoli's star performers en route to the club winning their first Serie A title in 33 years, Kim made 35 league appearances in 2022/23, as well as a further nine during their run to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

The 26-year-old, who also started three of South Korea's four group games at the 2022 World Cup, ranked in Serie A's top 15 for percentage of challenges won, and even chipped in with a couple of goals and assists.

"Min-jae Kim has developed extremely well, winning the Serie A title with Napoli last season and being voted the best defender in the league," commented Bayern CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen. "He impresses with his physical presence, as well as his mentality and speed. 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 (l.) earned rave reviews for his commanding performances in Napoli colours. - Imago

Pre-Napoli, Kim made a seamless transition to European football in his one season with Fenerbahce. He made 31 starts across 2021/22, having joined the Turkish giants from Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors as a two-time K League champion.

A centre-back by trade, the 43-time South Korean international will compete with the likes of Matthijs de Ligt, Dayot Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard for a starting berth under Thomas Tuchel at Bayern. He has been given the No.3 jersey.

Kim is expected to make his unoffical Bayern debut is the coming weeks, with friendlies against Rottach-Egern, Manchester City, Kawasaki Frontale, Liverpool and Monaco, before the record champions take on RB Leipzig in the Supercup (12 August). They begin their Bundesliga title defence away to Werder Bremen on 18 August.