Manchester United have until the end of this month to decide whether to trigger Red Bull Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano’s release clause.
According to Fichajes.com, the talented centre back’s €45 million (£40m) release clause expires on June 30th, after which a bidding war may develop to secure his services.
The Red Devils have been linked with the Frenchman since he was 16 years old. In the January 2015 transfer window, Upamecano reportedly came close to signing for the club in a £450,000 move from Valenciennes but administrative problems meant that the deal could not be completed on time.
United again came close to signing him that summer, reportedly agreeing personal terms and a fee with Valenciennes but the move did not materialise and the youngster joined Austrian side Red Bull Salzburg instead.
He then moved across the Red Bull camp to Leipzig for a €10 million (£8.9m) fee in 2017.
Since then as the player has gone from strength to strength there have been various rumours about a release clause ranging from €60 million to €100 million (£53m-£89m), all much higher than that quoted in this latest report.
If Fichajes.com’s information about the buyout fee is correct, normally clubs would be queuing up to trigger it before it expired and have a chance of signing arguably the world’s best centre back in his age group for a reasonable fee. But the coronavirus pandemic has thrown football into disarray.
To complicate the matter further, Upamecano is now entering the last year of his contract and would in theory be able to leave Leipzig on a free transfer in June 2021.
This means that United and other chasing clubs, such as Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Arsenal, have to decide whether to twist or stick.
Should they activate the £40 million or wait and see what happens after June 30th? Might Leipzig then drop the price to avoid losing the player for nothing a year later? Or will the price go up as they aim to spark a bidding war, or gamble on making a sale in January when there may be more stability in the market?
With both Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo linked with moves away from Old Trafford this summer, the 22-year-old would undoubtedly be a superb replacement. It is certainly a situation that the United board will be monitoring closely as the June 30th deadline draws closer.
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