There was a lot of excitement a week ago when The Telegraph reported Manchester United were considering a move for Dayot Upamecano.
Initial high hopes have since dimmed over the chances of a deal being done this transfer window.
Sky Sports report United will not sign Upamecano this summer, with the defender being monitored with a view to a move in the future.
This is a risky strategy, considering Upamecano has a £40 million release clause next year – making him a value for top clubs across Europe.
United face a lottery – with perhaps the only way to get him this summer being to pay a high price, possibly £60 million plus.
Laying the groundwork
While it is a gamble to wait on Upamecano and compete to buy him next summer, United do have a chance.
By establishing contact now and showing the defender that the club are clearly interested, Upamecano can recognise that United’s interest is genuine.
If United pitch up next summer, out of nowhere, he would probably simply sign for the club which pays him the most.
But United’s interest gives the club a chance of persuading Upamecano that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified him as key to the club’s success, and that he has planned and waited for him for 12 months – perhaps even longer.
It is a charm offensive which could work, and Upamecano would be joining the club for the right reasons.
United want players who genuinely want to be a part of what Solskjaer is building. If Upamecano knocks back more lucrative offers, then he will be an ideal fit for the team culture at Old Trafford.
The strategy from United is a gamble, but if the club end up signing him for just £40 million next summer, if will be one which has paid off spectacularly.
United’s task over the next year is to consistently get the message across to Upamecano that he is a wanted man. The chase is only just beginning.
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