Manchester United have identified RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano as a primary transfer target at the end of the season.
According to German publication Bild, as translated by the Manchester Evening News, United have been following the 20-year-old’s progress in the Bundesliga over the last few months with a view to launching a summer transfer swoop for the defender.
Bild reports that Upamecano has a huge €100 million release clause in his current contract at Leipzig, which means that United would have to break the transfer record for a defender in order to secure his signature.
Liverpool set a new world record with their £75 million purchase of Virgil Van Dijk back in January 2018 – as per The Guardian – and he has been a huge success at Anfield, spearheading a title charge against Manchester City this season.
United would hope that Upamecano could have a similar impact at Old Trafford given his market value, but he is still a raw talent who has yet to taste football at the very highest level.
That being said, his development at Leipzig over the past couple of years has been nothing short of outstanding and he already has 54 Bundesliga appearances to his name despite only having been a part of the first team for two-and-a-half seasons.
Bild also states that Bayern Munich are interested in luring the youngster to the Allianz Arena which raises the possibility of a huge transfer saga this summer, but the Red Devils will surely still fancy their chances of landing his signature.
United have undergone a dramatic transformation since the arrival of caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Soslkajer, winning nine out of ten matches to re-emerge as contenders for a top-four Premier League finish and Champions League glory.
The Norwegian head coach has re-discovered the team’s identity on the pitch and restored the club’s feel-good factor off it, meaning Old Trafford could be the ideal environment for Upamecano to develop.
While Solskjaer is not yet guaranteed a permanent spot as United manager, the club is finally looking forward to brighter times after a frustrating six-year period post-Sir Alex Ferguson and a marquee signing with limitless potential like Upamecano would surely only add to the air of optimism.
The Red Devils have struggled defensively this term and Solskjaer does not yet know his best centre-back partnership, which leaves room for Upemecano to come in and make his mark on the team quickly.