Manchester United have taken a step back from the pursuit of Dayot Upamecano, according to a report.
Upamecano has been heavily linked with a move to United in recent months. The France international has established himself as one of the most promising defenders in Europe.
There was already a lot of interest in Upamecano in the summer, but he signed a new contract with RB Leipzig. He seems destined to move on to bigger things in the near future, though.
As part of his new contract, he will have a release clause worth £38m active in summer 2021. That means clubs are likely to swoop in for him in half a year.
However, United may not be one of those contenders. According to David Ornstein, writing for the Athletic, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has cooled his interest in the centre-back.
Previous reports suggested that Upamecano would not want to join United in January after their Champions League exit. Now, they may be unable to convince him in the summer either.
Instead, United seem to have been overtaken in the hunt for Upamecano by Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
Bayern have frequently snapped up some of the best talent from clubs below them in the Bundesliga standings. Upamecano could follow suit as the reigning European champions look to replenish their backline.
Bayern will probably say goodbye to David Alaba in the coming months. The Austrian is out of contract at the end of the season, and it seems he will leave on a free transfer.
Chelsea have been mentioned as a potential suitor for the versatile star, who is not the only defender set to walk out of the Allianz Arena.
Jerome Boateng is also likely to leave the German club after the best part of a decade with them. He is also out of contract next summer, and at the age of 32, may be moved on in favour of someone younger.
Upamecano the ideal replacement
Bayern have identified Upamecano as the man to fill the void. The 22-year-old would take little time to adapt, as he already has four years of Bundesliga experience.
Upamecano is keen to enter negotiations with a new club in advance, as he feels it could prove his worth before Euro 2020. That could be his first major tournament if France select him.
The release clause will not be active until the end of the season, but clubs could work ahead of schedule before any official arrangement.
Bayern will be hoping to put together a package that can convince him to stay in Germany. With guarantees of regular Champions League football, they may be able to do just that.
If United are still in the market for a new centre-back, it appears they will have to look elsewhere.