The summer transfer window may be clouded in uncertainty at present, but one name never far from the gossip columns is that of RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano.
The Frenchman has developed a reputation as one of finest young centre-backs in world football during four seasons with the Bundesliga side, an aggressive and dominant defender whose performances have garnered the attention of Europe’s elite.
Leipzig have long sought young prospects with huge upside and Upamecano looks likely to be the next player off the club’s conveyor belt of talent sold on for a huge profit, but which clubs are leading the chase for the highly-rated 21-year-old?
Here are the bookmaker’s five favourites to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano:
Chelsea – 12/1
Chelsea have quickly issued a statement of intent ahead of next season with the confirmed capture of Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, whilst a deal has also been agreed in principle to sign in-demand RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner.
The west London outfit are ranked as outsiders for a second raid on the Bundesliga side for Upamecano, though it would be foolish to rule out Frank Lampard’s side given their swift and ambitious moves in the transfer market thus far.
No side in the division’s top seven has conceded more goals than the Blues so far this season, with neither Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma or Fikayo Tomori cementing themselves as a first-choice in Lampard’s side.
The club’s best defender, Antonio Rudiger, has also suffered with a series of injury problems of late and the signing of Upamecano could improve a backline which has struggled on occasion this season, as well as surely increasing the Blues chances in next seasons Premier League Betting.
The Frenchman is unlikely to come cheap, but owner Roman Abramovich has already shown he means business as Chelsea look to close the gap to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.
Manchester City – 8/1
Manchester City’s defence of the Premier League title has faltered amid a lack of dependable defensive options, with midfielder Fernandinho having been deployed in an auxiliary centre-back role for much of the campaign following a long-term injury to first-choice Aymeric Laporte.
Neither John Stones or Nicolas Otamendi – signed for around £80m combined – have convinced, and Pep Guardiola has shown an evident reluctance to pair the duo together in the absence of Laporte.
Allowing Vincent Kompany to leave the club without signing a replacement has proven costly, and the Premier League champions could now look to address their issues with a move for Upamecano.
The 21-year-old seemingly has all the attributes to thrive in English football and could prove to be a long-term solution at the heart of the club’s defence.
Arsenal – 8/1
Another Premier League outfit who have struggled for defensive solidity, Arsenal’s centre-back woes have been well documented with a succession of signings failing to solve their renown fragility.
The underwhelming options currently available to Mikel Arteta include the likes of the error-prone Shkodran Mustafi and out-of-contract David Luiz, and the Spaniard is likely to have centre-back additions near the top of his summer agenda.
The highly-rated William Saliba – signed last season before spending the campaign on-loan at Saint-Étienne – is set to return to the Emirates during the summer, and the arrival of Upamecano could see the two young Frenchman form a long-term partnership.
Upamecano’s prospects of more regular first-team football at the Gunners could also see the north London side prove an attractive destination.
Manchester United – 5/2
Manchester United are set to be big movers in the summer transfer market as the club look to close the gap to rivals Manchester City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.
Much of the transfer talk surrounding Old Trafford has centred around exciting attacking additions in the form of Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish, but Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s side are backed as the second favourites to secure the signing of Upamecano.
The arrivals of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire improved the club’s defensive options last summer, though doubts remain over who should partner the latter at centre-back. Neither Victor Lindelof or Phil Jones have produced the performances to suggest they are long-term solutions, whilst Eric Bailly’s body continues to fail him with the Ivory Coast international plagued by injuries.
Upamecano’s athleticism and aggression could prove the perfect foil alongside Maguire, and help United move a step closer to once again challenging for the Premier League title.
Bayern Munich – 6/4
Rarely does a promising young talent make an impression in the Bundesliga without attracting the interest of Bayern Munich, the serial champions often raiding their divisional rivals for talent.
The Bavarian’s squad is stacked deeply with quality but the club are looking to strengthen significantly this summer, with Manchester City’s Leroy Sane and Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz on the club’s radar.
Defensive additions could also be sought with Jerome Boateng’s future unclear, the experienced centre-back having appeared to be on his way out at the Allianz Arena before a recent revival under Hansi Flick.
Bayern, however, hold a serious interest in the signing of Upamecano and if a deal can be struck with Leipzig in the summer window, Boateng’s trophy-laden nine-year spell in Munich could come to an end.