Dayot Upamecano insists he is fully focused on RB Leipzig amid claims that Manchester United could make a move before next month’s transfer deadline.
The French international starred for the German side last season, as they reached the Champions League semi-finals.
And he took the step in July of signing a contract extension with RBL, until 2023, having entered the last year of his contract.
That new deal is understood to contain a release clause in the region of £52million – but which only comes into effect next summer.
United have not moved for a new centre-back this summer – 12 months after breaking the world transfer record for a defender with Harry Maguire’s arrival.
But after losing to Crystal Palace in their Premier League opener – in which both Maguire and partner Victor Lindelof struggled – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ed Woodward are re-evaluating whether to bring in defensive reinforcements in the next two weeks.
Wilf Zaha and the Palace attack exploited a lack of recovery speed between the United duo throughout the 90 minutes, while Lindelof in particular struggled one-v-one with Zaha.
Old Trafford chiefs are now eyeing potential recruits with the kind of top-level speed required to allow the side to play a higher defensive line – increasingly required at Europe’s elite level – and who can cope in those head-to-head duels.
Top of their list is expected to be Upamecano, who is admired by United and a host of European giants – including rivals City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.
Upamecano spoke on his immediate future on Wednesday, telling Telefoot in France: “For the moment I am with Leipzig but it is true that I was able to discuss with certain clubs,” he said.
“As I said, for now I am focused on Leipzig and I will continue to play for Leipzig. And then we’ll see.
“You never know what can happen in a football season.’
While United are keen on Upamecano however, Mirror Football understands that the club do not believe they will be able to sign him from RB Leipzig this window.
Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already brought in Donny van de Beek but Jadon Sancho remains Manchester United’s number one target.
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With the Bundesliga season up and running, RBL will charge well in excess of next summer’s release clause to part with him now.
And while discussions have been had, United are unwilling to part with a major premium – particularly while struggling to find buyers willing to meet their own asking prices for a number of defenders currently on their books.
As such, Eric Bailly, who played the full 90 minutes at Luton alongside Maguire on Tuesday, may soon be handed greater opportunities provided he can prove his fitness.
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