May 2, 2020
Manchester United and Arsenal have reportedly been handed a big transfer boost with reports suggesting that RB Leipzig central defender Dayot Upamecano could leave the Bundesliga club for around £53.25 million this summer. It is expected that United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will press on with his rebuild of the club this summer.
Upamecano has been highly-rated by many European club ahead of the summer transfer window with good performances for his team before the coronavirus pandemic halted world football back in March. It has been reported that United will be seeking to sell defenders this summer, including Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Diogo Dalot.
There will be some significant financial uncertainty because of the pandemic which could force Leipzig’s hand in terms of selling the player. United were once tipped to sign the French defender but it never happened for the club with the player seemingly being added to the clubs academy at the time, instead leaving Valenciennes FC for RB Salzburg.
United will find competition from Premier League rivals Manchester City and Arsenal for the 21-year-old this summer and it is expected that Bundesliga reigning champions Bayern Munich will rival the English clubs for the player. Recently, Leipzig managing director Oliver Mintzlaff spoke to Sport 1 about Upamecano possibly leaving Leipzig, saying:
“In the Covid-19 crisis, we have other issues greater than concerns about contracts.
“We know the terms of our players’ contracts and I know them very well – especially that of our top performers.
“For us, it is a no go that the top performers will be allowed to leave our club free of charge.
“That’s the case with Timo Werner and that will be the case with Dayot Upamecano. I have the economic stability of the club in mind.”
This season, Upamecano has made a total of 29 appearances, playing in the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal and the UEFA Champions League, not scoring any goals but registering an assist. Upamecano is relatively early into his career and already seems to be gaining the plaudits of a top player, or at least a player with a lot of potential, which is what he is.
During his career, Upamecano has played a total of 143 times in a first team environment, scoring three goals and a further three assists. He has played for FC Liefering 16 times, Red Bull Salzburg 23 times, assisting two goals there and a total of 104 appearances for RB Leipzig, where he has three goals and one assist.
The talented 21-year-old has been capped 46 times at youth level for France, playing in the U16s, U17s, U18s, U19s, and U21s, scoring one youth international goal. As yet, the player has not been capped by the France senior team – but there is time for him to achieve that. Upamecano helped France win the UEFA U17 European Championships where he was named in the team of the tournament.
If United do sell Smalling, Jones, Rojo and Dalot, there will be some availability in defence next season with just Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, and Axel Tuanzebe the experienced players in the team. Adding the likes of Upamecano could be crucial for Solskjaer to build a team capable of playing together for a number of years and achieving what he wants them to achieve.