Manchester United are ready to make Red Bull Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano their next summer signing.
The club are believed to have agreed a deal with Ajax to sign midfielder Donny van de Beek and are now turning their attentions to the centre-back position.
And despite reports last week that the Reds had made a £22 million bid for Monaco’s Benoit Badiashile, ESPN’s Mark Ogden claims that Upamecano is in fact the top target.
United have been linked with the exciting Frenchman since he was 16 years old. He twice came close to moving to Old Trafford in 2015 but the deal was never completed. The youngster joined Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg instead, before moving across the Red Bull empire to Leipzig in 2017.
It was widely reported in June that Upamecano’s €45 million release clause was set to be replaced by a higher amount if and when the player signed a contract extension with Red Bull, which he did on July 31st.
This seemingly put paid to a cost-effective transfer, but Ogden claims that the figures are very different to those reported at the time.
The reporter claims that Upamecano’s original deal ‘included a €60m [£53.75m] release clause’ and that ‘the new deal includes a release clause of €42m [£37.6m], which can be triggered at the end of the 2020-21 season.’
This leaves room for negotiation now if a club wanted to match or exceed that £37.6 million price, which would still represent incredible value for money for arguably the most sought-after young centre back in the world.
‘Solskjaer wants to recruit during this window … and sources have told ESPN that there is a belief that a deal could be struck with Leipzig before the Oct. 5 transfer deadline,’ Ogden writes.
It is a mouthwatering prospect. In United’s search for reinforcements in the centre-back position, the 21-year-old is a top quality alternative to Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and at this sort of figure will be around half the price of his older counterpart.