Manchester United are reportedly ready to go all out for RB Leipzig central defender Dayot Upamecano after wrapping up the signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek this summer. The Dutchman has a medical in the Netherlands ahead of his transfer to the Old Trafford club and is likely to play for his country in the upcoming matches against Poland (Friday) and Italy (Monday). United are known to be admirers of Upamecano, 21 and missed out on signing him as a teenager.
The 21-year-old French defender has many clubs interested in him with Arsenal and Real Madrid amongst the suitors. At the end of July, Leipzig signed the player on a contract extension, which will expire in the summer of 2023 but includes a £40 million release clause which can be activated in a years time. However, it is expected that United will be seeking to get a deal done for the player this summer, according to ESPN, which will probably cost more than his release clause would next summer.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bolster his defence ahead of the 2020/21 season, finding a partner for Harry Maguire that could lead United forward from the back. Upamecano is a player that Solskjaer could see playing for United and fitting into the club. Leipzig might not want to part company with the player this summer, which is something that United will be hopeful of. They should tempt them with a £50 million bid, or something in that region, which might just get accepted.
During the 2019/20 season, Upamecano made a total of 38 appearances for his club, not scoring any goals but assisting twice. The 21-year-old can play in both positions in central defence, if right-footed and can also operate in the defensive midfield position, although he did not player their during the course of last season. Upamecano played for Valenciennes FC as a youth player when United were interested in adding him to their academy. However, the player signed for Austrian side FC Liefering.
At FC Liefering, Upamecano made 16 appearances before making a move to Red Bull Salzburg in a €2.2 million deal during the winter transfer window of that season. The Frenchman played for a season (two half seasons) at the club, making a total of 23 appearances, scoring no goal but adding two assists. He signed for RB Leipzig in January 2017 for €10 million and to this date has made a total of 113 appearances for the club, scoring three goals and two assists. He originally signed a four and a half year contract which was extended this summer until the summer of 2023.
If United had completed the deal for the player whilst he was a teenager, he could well have risen through the ranks into the first team by now. However, with that said, playing for the Red Bull clubs; Salzburg and Leipzig, he has learned a lot about first team football which will have advanced his game a bit more as there is something about the two clubs and their production of great quality players. United should aim to get something completed this summer as next summer, with the release clause active, there will be a lot of interest in the player.
Written by John Walker