RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has invited offers for the club’s top players this summer, opening the door to an exit for star defender Dayot Upamecano.
France defender Upamecano is perhaps the most coveted defender in the world at present, and it is understood that, from the summer if 2021, his release clause drops to £38m.
That may seem like a drop in the bucket compared to his value, but the clause was included in the new contract he signed before this season that helped Leipzig keep hold of him amid extensive interest elsewhere on the continent. His deal had been due to expire in 2021, and the extension lifted the pressure to sell in the short-term.
A similar agreement was struck with Timo Werner a year before his move to Chelsea, and they are becoming a regular, successful part of the Leipzig transfer strategy.
And while Leipzig are desperate for a first Bundesliga title, sitting just two points off leaders Bayern despite losing 3-1 to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, CEO Mintzlaff knows they will only get there if they keep doing what has worked for them to date.
Mintzlaff said, per MEN: “We have a squad that is very broad in terms of quality. So we will sell top performers again if it makes financial sense and we can cope with it from a sporting point of view.
“When I think of Timo Werner, Matheus Cunha, Naby Keita or Diego Demme, we’ve already made a lot of money and still made progress in terms of the sporting side.
“Overall, we have invested a lot in our team, no question about that. But look: the current squad had a market value of less than €250 million when the individual players made their debut.
“And if we now take the current market value, we are at around €550 million. You have to take this plus of over €300 million into account when you talk about investments. We are creating value with our path.”
In terms of Upamecano, MailOnline Sport report that Chelsea have joined the race to sign him as they consider the futures of Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Fikayo Tomori.
The trio have played second fiddle to Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma under Frank Lampard this season, and have all linked with Stamford Bridge departures at various points. Manchester United, meanwhile, have cooled their interest, while Liverpool see him as too expensive to sign in January – though that may change come the summer.
Bayern Munich are credited with the most substantial interest and may see him as an alternative for David Alaba, who looks set to leave on a free transfer when his contract expires.