Manchester United and Arsenal appear to have missed the boat on an opportunity for a cut-price deal for Red Bull Leipzig’s talented centre-back Dayot Upamecano.
The Red Devils have been linked with the exciting centre back since he was 16 years old. He twice came close to signing for United in 2015 but the move did not materialise and the youngster joined Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg instead before moving across the Red Bull empire to Leipzig in 2017.
In June, Tuttosport claimed that Arsenal had made a concrete deal with Red Bull that they could sign Upamecano if he does not sign a new contract with the German side this summer and Sportbild reported that ‘club bosses have already accepted the Londoners’ offer’.
United were also believed to be willing to meet Upamecano’s release clause, which was reported to be just €45 million (£40m).
However, against all expectations, the centre-back yesterday signed a new contract at Leipzig that will keep him at the club until 2023.
The new buyout clause has not been reported, but it will almost certainly be significantly higher than the original.
In United’s search for reinforcements in the centre-back position, the 21-year-old was widely seen as a top quality alternative to Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, being less than half the price of his older counterpart.
However, with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis this week announcing he will sell Koulibaly for £81 million, the gap in price has narrowed at both ends and it now looks highly unlikely that United or Arsenal will sign Upamecano under current circumstances.
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