Manchester United have reportedly set their sights on Dayot Upamecano over a summer move, with the Frenchman also a target for Arsenal.
According to a report by Daily Telegraph, Manchester United are considering launching a move for Dayot Upamecano in the summer transfer window. The French centre-back, who is valued by RB Leipzig around £50 million, is also the subject of interest from Arsenal.
Upamecano joined RB Leipzig from sister club Red Bull Salzburg in January 2017. In nearly four years since, the 21-year-old has progressed exponentially and is now regarded as one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga, despite being hampered by injuries during his time with Leipzig.
Over the course of his time at the Red Bull Arena, Upamecano has amassed over 100 appearances for Die Roten Bullen and is one of the first names on the team sheet for Julian Nagelsmann. His development has not gone unnoticed either, with several big name clubs having him scouted in the season gone by. At present, Manchester United and Arsenal are in his pursuit.
For Manchester United, the need for a centre-back is tantamount. While Harry Maguire added some much-needed steel to the Red Devils’ backline, Victor Lindelof has not managed to remain consistent enough over stretched periods. Beyond the duo, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a few other backup options.
However, for one reason or another, none of them can be trusted enough to be the first-choice central defender alongside Maguire over the course of a season. As a result, it has been mooted that Manchester United are in the market for a centre-back this summer, with Milan Skriniar among those linked lately. Upamecano, to that end, is a viable target for United.
At Arsenal, on the other hand, Mikel Arteta has a glut of centre-backs at his disposal, with Gabriel Magalhaes set to be added to his squad as well. The Brazilian’s addition would leave the Arsenal boss with as many as 10 central defensive options to choose from, with Konstantinos Mavropanos out on loan as the 11th centre-back.
So, it is hard to see Arsenal making a move for another centre-back, especially with Leipzig valuing Upamecano around the £50 million mark. Instead, the Gunners ought to focus on offloading a few central defenders, meaning Manchester United could have a relatively free run at Upamecano.
The Red Devils have finally woken up from their slumber in the transfer market, with Donny van de Beek set to become their first summer signing. Solskjaer is now keen on recruiting a centre-back, with Upamecano seemingly the priority. However, his £50 million valuation is proving to be a tad bit problematic, especially considering his £40 million release clause will activate next summer.
However, Solskjaer wants to avoid the risk of other clubs providing stiff competition to Manchester United in 2021 and is keen on getting the transfer over the line this summer. What now remains to be seen is if United press ahead with a move for Upamecano, who could reportedly be subject to a £37.5 million bid, and if Arsenal decide to launch the offensive for him too.