Dayot Upamecano says that he decided to snub a move to Manchester United after realising it was the wrong step for his development.
The centre-back has become one of the most exciting defenders across Europe since joining RB Leipzig. As a result, a fierce battle for his signature across Europe reportedly emerged. But Bayern Munich won the race, announcing a five-year contract beginning this summer for the player in February.
However, the 22-year-old had interest in his services from a much younger age.
In fact, United came close to signing Upamecano in 2015, when he was only 17. Reports claim that his former club Valenciennes wanted £700,000 for him, but the Red Devils only offered £500,000.
What’s more, United did not want to increase their offer and the deal subsequently fell through.
Meanwhile, one of the player’s advisors revealed that United broke a key promise they initially made in talks.
However, Upamecano himself has now spoken out, revealing all about his failed move to Old Trafford.
“I was a young boy. I wanted to sign for them straight away,” the Frenchman told The Athletic.
“Manchester United! But then my parents took me aside and said: ‘Let’s think carefully about this’.”
Instead, Upamecano signed for RB Salzburg under the guidance of then-sporting director Ralf Rangnick.
From there, the defender continued his exciting development. He spent only one season in Austria, before moving to Germany in January 2017.
Upamecano happy with career so far
“We thought about it for a long time and then decided that going ‘etape par etape’ [step by step] was the best option for me,” Upamecano added.
“Everything Ralf said came true.”
Upamecano has since racked up 151 appearances for Leipzig and 110 Bundesliga outings.
He will move to Bayern alongside current Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann, who is replacing Hansi Flick in the dugout.