A current Bayern Munich centre-back has revealed just how close he came to joining Manchester United when he was only 16 years of age.
Dayot Upamecano only moved to Munich in the summer of 2021 for a deal worth €42.5million, but his career path could have been completely different if he had moved to Old Trafford as planned.
The 24-year-old has spoken to Onze Mondial about his career and what might have been in terms of the Red Devils.
The France international began his career at Evreux in France before moving to Valenciennes’ Under-19 side.
Upamecano remained there for two years before joining RB Salzburg, where he spent another 24 months before moving on to RB Leipzig.
And it was in Germany where the talented defender really came to the fore. He made over 150 games for Leipzig, where he shone in the Champions League before sealing his big-money switch to Bayern.
Prior to joining the perennial Bundesliga winners, Upamecano was heavily linked with a move to United but he’s revealed he could have ended up in Manchester even earlier.
He told Onze Mondial: “I’m going to tell you about my best anecdote in Valenciennes (laughs). It was December or January, I was meant to sign for Manchester United.
United move a missed opportunity
“So, I said goodbye to everyone, thanked everyone and packed my bags. And finally, the signature was not at the end. Result: I had to return to Valenciennes.
“It was really difficult, everyone attacked me: ‘You made fun of us, you big liar, you told us fibs! You weren’t even supposed to sign at Manchester United actually’.
“And there, I understood one thing: when you are not sure of something, you should never say it. I learned that at 16, you have to hold your tongue.
“My time in Valenciennes was very brief, I didn’t even stay two years.”
Upamecano is due to face United’s bitter rivals City in Wednesday evening’s Champions League quarter-final second leg in Munich. However, Bayern face an almost impossible task of overturning a 3-0 first-leg deficit against Pep Guardiola’s men.
As for United, they are back in action on Sunday when they take on Brighton in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley.