Manchester United and Liverpool are both keen on striking a deal to sign in-demand RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano in the summer.
The 22-year-old is widely seen as one of the world’s top young centre-backs and is expected to walk away from the German side in the summer when his release clause of around £38m – well below his market value – kicks in.
The Mirror have released an ‘exclusive’ story claiming that United and Liverpool are set for a two-way battle to sign Upamecano in the summer, and while there’s some truth in the rumours that those two sides are keen, the story comes with more than a few holes.
Midway through the report, fellow suitors Chelsea and Bayern Munich get a mention. Bayern’s desire to keep Upamecano in the Bundesliga, which has been revealed by Sport Bild, Sky Germany (via TZ) and even Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge himself, is seemingly not enough for The Mirror, who decline to credit them with any real shot at signing Upamecano because it doesn’t make for a good headline.
Instead, the focus remains on Liverpool and United, who were said to be considering triggering the £38m release clause this month…even though it’s not actually active yet.
Basically, all you need to take from this one is that Liverpool and United are interested in Upamecano, but they’ve got just as much of a chance of landing him as anyone else. How’s that for an exclusive?
There have been rumours that Leipzig could consider selling Upamecano for an inflated price this month before his release clause kicks in, but with Julian Nagelsmann’s side currently sitting second in the Bundesliga, there’s obviously no desire to weaken themselves this month.
“We know about Upamecano’s contract,” Nagelsmann said (via AS). “We know that we want to keep him for longer and that we like to have him with us. You can see that, as he’s playing every single game for us. But we also know the mechanisms in football.
“So, if [Bayern] want to make me or the club nervous, then it hasn’t worked. But I don’t think that this was their main intention. I believe that they said that to get a foot inside the door and make other teams that want to sign him nervous instead. But you have to ask Mr. Rummenigge, why he said what he said.”
In the summer, expect United and Liverpool to consider Upamecano, but they will almost certainly be joined by Chelsea, Bayern and a whole host of other suitors. There’s no ‘head-to-head’ just yet.