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Dayot Upamecano to United?

Dayot Upamecano has been on the radar of many football fans for a while, but he properly broke into the public consciousness last month as RB Leipzig shocked many to reach the Champions League semi-finals. The French defender was a colossus at the back in Lisbon, but has long been regarded as one of the best young centre-backs in the world thanks to his clever positional sense and his excellent all-round game. With more and more teams looking for footballing defenders, Upamecano has rightly come to the attention of bigger teams outside of Germany, being heavily linked with Arsenal last summer and more recently with Manchester United. Leipzig put a huge price tag on their star defender last year and tied him down to a contract extension recently to ensure that when he does leave the Bundesliga, they will get the maximum return on their investment. Upamecano's deal is similar the one Timo Werner signed last year, keeping him with the Red Bulls for an additional season after it looked likely that he would trade in RB Leipzig for Bayern Munich. The club inserted an attractive release clause in the new contract, which Chelsea activated in June. The new contract extends Upamecano's stay, but has a release clause that allows him to leave for €42 million in 2021. However, teams may not be willing to wait until next year to sign him, with Manchester United in rebuild now mode and keen to beat others to his signature. The Red Devils wanted to find a better defensive partner for captain Harry Maguire and have made Upamecano one of their priorities. They may need to spend upwards of €60m to sign him this summer as the release clause is not active, but it would mean that they do not have the same competition for the transfer as they would have if they waited 12 months. British media maintains that Jadon Sancho is still the Red Devils' top priority, but Borussia Dortmund insist they will not sell him, even for their €120m asking price, as their August 10 deadline has passed. United have already brought in midfielder Donny van de Beek from Ajax, but are still keen to strengthen and may look at bringing in Upamecano and another player or two for the price that they would have to pay for Sancho. Upamecano made his international debut for France at the weekend and his stock only continues to rise, so a move this summer could be essential as his stock only continues to rise.

Ronan Murphy


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