Dayot Upamecano is wanted by Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich in a summer scramble for the £38m RB Leipzig defender… but which club would suit him best and who needs him most?
- Dayot Upamecano is likely to leave RB Leipzig for just £38million this summer
- His relatively low release clause has put Europe’s leading clubs on red alert
- Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United are all said to be keen on signing him
- Bayern Munich want to keep him in the Bundesliga with David Alaba departing
- Sportsmail looks at his options and rates which club would suit Upamecano best
Dayot Upamecano is wanted by almost every single elite club in Europe and the race for his signature looks likely to dominate this summer’s transfer window.
The 22-year-old French defender has emerged as an impressive talent in recent seasons at RB Leipzig but looks likely to leave in the coming months.
Upamecano has a £38million release clause that kicks in this summer and that is a remarkably low fee for such an impressive talent.
It is no wonder a lot of clubs are chasing him with Chelsea the latest to join the pack following the arrival of Thomas Tuchel. Reports in Germany suggest the manager could be a trump card and play a major role in persuading Upamecano to move to Stamford Bridge.
But with so much competition for his services, Sportsmail runs through the clubs that are interested and tries to pick which one would suit Upamecano best.
Dayot Upamecano will have the pick of Europe’s leading clubs when he leaves RB Leipzig this summer – with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich all interested
Centre-back has been a problem for Chelsea in recent seasons. Frank Lampard was unable to find a real standout partnership throughout his tenure.
After tweaking his back line in search of consistency last season, he finally opted for Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma as his preferred combination, but even Antonio Rudiger – left out earlier in the season – has played back-to-back league games now.
At 36 years old, Silva is not a long-term solution so Tuchel will need to dip into the transfer market for a new centre-back this summer. He might even need two – to form a new partnership – if Zouma and Rudiger don’t improve.
Upamecano would be the ideal fit as a youthful partner to the ageing Silva, who has shown there are still miles left in the tank.
Thomas Tuchel is a huge fan of Upamecano and he has handed Chelsea a boost in the race
Tuchel is known to have his full-backs play high up the pitch and Upamecano’s acceleration, pace and positional awareness would allow him to do this without fear of conceding on the counter.
As reported by BILD, Tuchel was an admirer of the Frenchman during his time with PSG and Upamecano’s international team-mates have spoken positively in the past about his coaching.
The German also speaks fluent French, which would help Upamecano settle in a new country and environment. His former RB Leipzig team-mate Timo Werner is already in London.
How well he’d suit Chelsea: 8.5/10
Gary Neville recently said that in order for Manchester United to become Premier League champions there are two areas Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must address in his squad.
The first is on the right wing, the final piece of the attacking puzzle that is currently made up of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes, and the second is finding the perfect partner for Harry Maguire in defence.
Neville said United need a defender who can help them get up the pitch another 10 yards so they can begin to squeeze their opposition and dominate games without fear of getting caught in behind.
That is because while Maguire and Victor Lindelof have provided Solskjaer with a firm base for their run up the Premier League table, they both lack the pace required to confidently leave space between them and David de Gea.
Alongside Harry Maguire, Upamecano would allow United to push further up the pitch at times
Eric Bailly does possess that speed but the Ivorian is injury prone and not quite at the level required, as shown by his manager’s preference to play Lindelof in the big games.
Signing Upamecano would solve that problem. He could slot in alongside Maguire and offer the attributes that the England star is missing.
The Frenchman has also played against United twice in the Champions League this season so knows the basics of their style and system.
It would also be another big win in the transfer market – and a cheap one considering Upamecano’s potential – for Ed Woodward and follow on from the success of Fernandes, Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Edinson Cavani.
How well he’d suit United: 8/10
Jurgen Klopp may be in desperate need of a defender now but the Reds are definitely going to be in the market for a long-term addition in the summer.
Liverpool naively left themselves short in defence going into this season. They let Dejan Lovren leave without replacing him and, while nobody could predict the double injury blow to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, it was always likely Joel Matip would miss some game time.
Fabinho, and in recent weeks Jordan Henderson, have made seamless transitions into the back line but Klopp’s midfield is feeling their absence. They miss the energy and drive both bring further up the pitch.
Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have performed admirably when called upon but it is clear they are not yet ready to play week-in, week-out for the Premier League champions.
Upamecano could forge a sensational defensive partnership with Virgil van Dijk at Anfield
Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, and sporting director Michael Edwards love signing a player whose transfer fee does not represent their true ability or future value and developing them into a world-class talent.
With Upamecano’s release clause, that is what they would be getting in him and RB Leipzig’s high-intensity, pressing game would help him settle into Klopp’s team.
His pace is also handy to cover Liverpool’s full-backs on the counter attack while his passing ability would, like Van Dijk does, help Liverpool go from defence to attack in seconds.
With Upamecano and Van Dijk in the heart of Liverpool’s defence, Klopp would have his centre-back partnership sorted for at least the next three seasons.
How well he’d suit Liverpool: 9/10
Upamecano has already proven himself to be one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga, so why not stay in Germany and continue to dominate?
As ever, Bayern are looking to hoover up the latest talent to emerge in the division as they have done in recent years with Joshua Kimmich, Niklas Sule, Leon Goretzka and Niklas Sule.
But Hansi Flick is facing a dilemma this summer with the core of the Bayern defence that has served him so well in his 12 months in charge set to be broken up.
David Alaba looks increasingly likely to leave when his contract expires at the end of the season, leaving a gap in central defence with the Austrian shifted across from left-back following Alphonso Davies’ emergence.
Hansi Flick wants Upamecano to be the star of his overhaul of the Bayern Munich defence
Jerome Boateng also looks past the peak of his powers at 32 and he is also out of contract in Bavaria this summer, leaving Flick with a shortage of options in the middle.
Both Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez have shown they can play in the middle when needed to but it would leave Sule as the only senior recognised central defender.
Signing Upamecano would undoubtedly extend Bayern’s stranglehold over German football and he would continue to play his football in a league that he knows well.
It would also give him a greater chance of winning the Champions League and he would be installed as the club’s leading centre back from the off.
How well he’d suit Bayern: 9/10