Manchester United are set to push forward with plans to sign Dayot Upamecano before the window shuts, according to reports.
According Monday’s Euro Paper Talk, United plan to strengthen their central defence as a priority this summer. As such, they have targeted the powerful and skilful RB Leipzig defender.
The 21-year-old proved himself one of Europe’s outstanding defenders this season. He was a key man as Julian Nagelsmann’s side reached the Champions League semi-finals.
United’s chances of landing him appeared to be over last month when he signed a new deal with the Bundesliga side. That tied him to the club until 2023. More significantly, it upped his exit clause to €60m.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains convinced Upamecano should be a transfer focus for United. That’s despite a report claiming he must convince two doubts their board have about a deal.
As per the Daily Star, Solskjaer has three reasons why he thinks Upamecano would prove a rock-solid addition at United.
Firstly, it’s claimed Solskjaer has turned his focus to the Frenchman after seeing City usurp them in the race for Koulibaly.
While talks continue to take place, Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis has explained the delay and bizarrely blamed a Chelsea man.
Secondly, Solskjaer is convinced that even at €60m, Upamecano would represent a real steal in the current market. The £53.4m asking price is some £9m lower than the £63.2m (€70m) Napoli are seeking for Koulibaly.
And finally, it’s thought Upamecano can only get better and at just 21 years old, will also retain some sell-on value for United in the future.
Koulibaly, at 29 years of age, is only likely to see his market price begin to deteriorate once he turns 30.
United to move soon for Upamecano
Solskjaer also has concerns over Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly as defenders who can take United to the next level.
If they are to close the gap on Liverpool, Solskjaer knows United must compete for Europe’s top, young rising stars.
United are yet to make contact with RB Leipzig over Upamecano. However, the Star believes they will soon make an approach.
Upamecano’s exit clause reduces to £40m next summer due to a clause. As such, Solskjaer reckons the time to strike may well be now.
Arsenal, PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid are said to be monitoring his progress closely too. They will surely be looking at signing him when the clause kicks in in summer 2021.