Manchester rivals join the race for Upamecano

Manchester United and Manchester City are both reportedly ‘interested’ in signing RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.

Upamecano has established himself as one of the finest young defenders in European football over the past four seasons with the Bundesliga side, playing an influential role in the club’s rise in German football and maiden ventures into the Champions League.

The Frenchman is attracting interest from across the continent and is set to enter the final season of his contract at the Red Bull Arena this summer, with the Manchester rivals ready to compete for the signature of the centre-back who has a release clause of £52.5m.

According to Sky Sports, Premier League champions Manchester City have identified the 21-year-old as a player who can help solve the club’s defensive issues, Pep Guardiola’s side having fallen adrift of Liverpool in the title race this season after struggling defensively following the departure of Vincent Kompany and the long term injury to Aymeric Laporte.

The Etihad club monitored several centre-backs during the January transfer window – including the likes of Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar and Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake – and are believed to be interested in adding two new central defenders to their squad ahead of next season.

Meanwhile, cross-city rivals Manchester United are also looking at defensive options with a long term partner for Harry Maguire said to a priority, Victor Lindelof having failed to convince and the Old Trafford futures of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling uncertain, while Eric Bailly has struggled with injuries.

The Premier League rivals are likely to face competition from across Europe for the youngster’s signature, however, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Spain’s leading sides having also been linked with a move for the defender of late.

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See also – Ian Wright explains how Arsene Wenger helped to revolutionise English football

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