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Kim Min-jae set for Bayern Munich debut 

South Korean defender Kim Min-jae will make his Bayern Munich debut in the club’s second game of their Japan tour against J-League side Kawasaki Frontale this weekend, manager Thomas Tuchel said Friday.

Kim helped Italian champions Napoli win their first Serie A title in over three decades last season before joining Bayern on a five-year contract in July. 

The 26-year-old did not appear in Bayern’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday, but Tuchel told reporters in Tokyo that “tomorrow, if nothing happens, I’d like to see him play his debut.”

“Maybe he will play about 45 minutes, the first half or second half,” Tuchel said. 

“It’s good for the team, and hopefully he can show that he is the player that we think he is.”

Tuchel praised the South Korea international, saying he will give Bayern “a lot of stability and also variety”.

“He will bring a lot of quality to our team. Because for me he is a very stable, a very clear, player that can play in both central defender positions,” he said.

“He can play on both sides, played on both sides for Napoli and on Champions League level, and this is basically the plan.”

Kim has 49 international caps and played in his native South Korea and China before signing for Fenerbahce in Turkey and then moving on to Napoli last summer.

“I am very happy that he joined our club,” Tuchel said.

“In terms of personality and diligence, I’m sure that he’s going to contribute to our club, to beef up the capabilities of the team.”

As well as Kim being set to make his bow against Kawasaki, Tuchel revealed that Matthijs de Ligt should also be fit for the game, giving Bayern “two new options”. 

De Ligt picked up a calf injury while on international duty with the Netherlands in June.  

Midfielder Serge Gnabry also addressed reports that he could be set to leave the German champions.

“There’s a rumour last year too and this year,” the 28-year-old said.

“There’s too many rumours about my transfer. But actually, nobody came to me.

“So in that sense, I am very happy that I am able to play for Bayern Munich and I renewed my contract.”

After the game against Kawasaki, Bayern will travel to Singapore to play Liverpool next Wednesday.

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