When looking at dream acquisitions for Manchester United in defence, Dayot Upamecano’s name should rank near top of the list.
The Frenchman was among the best defenders in the Bundesliga and the Champions League in 2019/20.
Sky Sports reported in April that United were showing an interest in paying Upamecano’s release clause of £52.5 million.
This option is now off the table after Leipzig announced on Friday that Upamecano has signed a new contract.
This new deal only runs until June 2023, so in terms of length it is not restrictive, but you can bet his release clause no longer exists at that price.
No move this summer
One thing we can say for certain is that Upamecano will not be leaving Leipzig this summer.
He told the club website: “I have been in Leipzig for over three years and I have continued to improve alongside the team’s development. I want to carry on developing personally, and I think Julian Nagelsmann is a coach that can bring me to the next level.”
Upamecano fits what Manchester United should be looking for in a centre-back.
He is just 21-years-old, already a France international, and has vast experience already, with 111 games for Leipzig already under his belt.
As Whoscored note, Upamecano has made more passes this season than any player in the Bundesliga aged 23 or under.
In addition to his quality on the ball and comfort bringing possession out of defence, Upamecano is fast and strong, capable of matching Europe’s top attackers.
United have other options
While Upamecano would have been perfect, United have three options. One of which is simply to wait for the Frenchman next summer.
This would allow more time to look at Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi, who themselves are the second option.
United may not need to buy a new centre-back if one of both of them step up, stay injury free, and fulfil their potential. In case of a setback, United can pursue Upamecano in 2021.
The third option is simply to buy a centre-back now. This is very possible, with rumours swirling of a move for Gabriel Magalhaes of Lille (via Daily Record).
This may end up being the most likely route, although Mengi may get a chance to influence proceedings if he gets a chance and stars in the Europa League game against LASK next week when he hopes to make his debut.
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