Man United: Solskjaer wants Dayot Upamecano to partner Harry Maguire next season

Dayot Upamecano, Red Bull Leipzig.(Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images)
Dayot Upamecano, Red Bull Leipzig.(Photo by ANP Sport via Getty Images) /

The Red Devils are making swift moves in the transfer market as Jadon Sancho talks halt.

As Manchester United sign Donny Van de Beek from AFC Ajax, pending medical examination and contract formalities, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is eager to address his central defence in the next piece of summer business. Meanwhile, talks for Jadon Sancho, who still remains the priority, have stalled and the deal is expected to protract.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has identified RB Leipzig’s Upamecano as the ideal partner for Harry Maguire next season. Multiple sources have mentioned the interest of Manchester United in the 21-year-old defender who has recently penned a contract extension with his current club.

Dayot Upamecano has made steady progress under the umbrella of the Red Bull project at Salzburg and Leipzig, having come close to signing for Man United’s youth setup five seasons ago. The Frenchman has burst onto a wider scene since an imperious outing against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals.

It is understood that the contract extension until 2023 removes the previous €60m release clause. Instead, it contains a fresh €42million provision which becomes active from next summer only. Given the complexities arising due to the new agreement, prizing Upamecano out of Leipzig won’t be an easy assignment for Manchester United this summer.

Solskjaer, who is said to have intervened in the dialogues between Man United chiefs and Donny Van de Beek’s entourage, is pushing his paymasters to initiate negotiations with the German representatives to secure the defensive starlet at Old Trafford.

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"Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is targeting RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano to bolster his defensive options at Manchester United.Solskjaer is now prioritising the addition of a top-quality centre-half to play alongside captain Harry Maguire and Upamecano is the top target.United expect to offload a number of their defenders during the transfer window, with Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones all heading for the exit door at Old Trafford. (ESPN)"

Upamecano or not, an unforeseen surge in the stories suggest that a centre-back target is considered a priority for Man United as talks with Borussia Dortmund for Jadon Sancho continue to stall.

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Besides Dayot, United are actively monitoring Villareal’s Pau Torres and Benoit Badishile from AS Monaco. A defensive acquisition looks increasingly likely this summer.

To accompany arrivals, Manchester United remain keen on trimming their squad to sustain the competition levels for starting spots. Chris Smalling is the plausible candidate to make space as the veteran English defender looks well poised for a permanent move to AS Roma.

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