An exclusive report by 90min has claimed that Manchester City are assessing a potential move in January for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.
The 21-year-old centre-back joined the Bundesliga outfit in 2017 for a €10 million fee. Since then, he has appeared for the club 86 times.
90min comment that the injury crisis at the heart of Manchester City’s defence, stemming from Aymeric Laporte’s cartilage and meniscus damage suffered against Brighton, has prompted the efforts to expand Pep Guardiola’s options.
At present, the indefatigable Fernandinho has been deployed as a makeshift centre-back in order to stymie the defensive problems. John Stones has struggled with injuries, while Nicolas Otamendi has struggled with the concept of defending. The foolhardy decision to not replace Vincent Kompany in the summer has equally had a huge impact.
Thus, according to 90min, the decision to whip out the chequebook has been compelled in spite of the club’s preference to typically avoid January business. Nevertheless, Manchester City’s army of European scouts have identified Upamecano as not just a stop-gap but a player with the ability to have ‘a lengthy future at the club’. Pep Guardiola is said to share this view.
Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham are also allegedly interested in the Frenchman. Manchester City, therefore, hope to seal a deal in January before their potential competitors act.
RB Leipzig, managed by Julian Nagelsmann, presently sit second in the Bundesliga. Upamecano has been virtually ever-present in a side that has conceded only twelve goals in eleven games. At 6’1″, he would add some much needed height and size to the City backline.
Shortlisted for the prestigious 2018 Golden Boy Award, Upamecano has, for some time now, been recognised as one of the most promising young defenders in European football. At Manchester City, he could look forward to establishing an impenetrable partnership with his compatriot Aymeric Laporte.
However, with Upamecano’s contract set to expire come the end of the 2019/20 season, it is anticipated that a deal for him shall be less complicated than a move for Dias; the Portuguese defender’s contract is set to run until 2024. Manchester City have consequently appraised Upamecano to be the more realistic target in January.
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