Liverpool, Chelsea in final three chasing French ace as Man Utd lose out
The race to sign a European ace has narrowed to three suitors including Liverpool and Chelsea after Man Utd dropped out of the running.
Liverpool are experiencing uncharacteristic turbulence during the current campaign.
The injury bug has hit hard, most notably at the back with their three favoured senior centre-halves all sidelined indefinitely.
Jurgen Klopp is expected to go big in the summer for a defensive acquisition, but competition for the elite players will no doubt be high.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have enjoyed a mini resurgence under new boss Thomas Tuchel.
Three at the back has been successfully deployed so far. But with Thiago Silva in the autumn of his career and Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen often flattering to deceive, the addition of a top-class centre-half is expected to be high on the agenda.
One player that would fit the bill for both clubs is RB Leipzig superstar Dayot Upamecano.
The Frenchman, 22, has risen to become one of European football’s hottest properties.
A host of clubs from the Premier League as well as German juggernaut Bayern Munich have all registered their interest.
A recent report even detailed how current club Leipzig are prepared for his exit after lining up a perfect replacement.
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However, one club that has seemingly dropped out of the running is Man Utd.
The head of football at German outlet Bild – Christian Falk – has reported how the sweepstakes have narrowed to three.
Falk reported on Twitter: ‘The decision of Dayot Upamecano is only between FC Bayern, Liverpool and Chelsea now.’
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano confirmed last month that Upamecano will be available for the bargain fee of €42.5m once his release clause activates in the summer.
Liverpool target comes clean over January links
Meanwhile, Leeds and Liverpool target Rodrigo De Paul says he blocked a January exit from Serie A side Udinese.
De Paul, 26, was a major target for Leeds ahead of their return to the Premier League. And Andrea Radrizzani was prepared to break the club’s transfer record for the Argentine.
However, despite hints from De Paul that he wanted the move, nothing went through.
After the summer transfer window shut in October, there were rumours that Leeds could relaunch their efforts to sign De Paul in January.