Manchester United have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Dayot Upamecano after RB Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff paved the way for a potential move to Old Trafford.
Upamecano finds himself on the Red Devils’ radar as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seeks to bolster his options at the back.
Mintzlaff told Bild: “We have a squad that is very broad in terms of quality.
“So we will sell top performers again if it makes financial sense and we can cope with it from a sporting point of view.
“When I think of Werner, [Matheus] Cunha, [Naby] Keita or [Diego] Demme, we’ve already made a lot of money and still made progress in terms of the sporting side.
“Overall, we have invested a lot in our team, no question about that. But look: the current squad had a market value of less than €250 million when the individual players made their debut.”
However, it’s unlikely Upamencano will be sold in January as Leipzig are currently embroiled in a Bundesliga battle with defending champions Bayern Munich, but a summer exit could be on the cards instead. Bringing in the youngster could mean an Old Trafford exit for either Victor Lindelof or Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
It’s fair to say that United have suffered their fair share of defensive meltdowns this season which will have, no doubt, caused Solskjaer a few sleepless nights. Lindelof has been dropped in favour of the injury-prone Eric Bailly after some questionable performances and United haven’t kept a clean sheet in the league since the 1-0 win at home to Wolves.
Speaking after the 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid in the Champions League, Rio Ferdinand was effusive in his praise for Upamecano, telling BT Sport as per The Independent: “Upamecano was the best player tonight, he was formidable on the pitch.
“But they were all defending for their lives.
“They matched up with Atletico. You need heart and desire and they all showed that especially late on in the game.”
His fellow pundit Jermain Jenas joined in, adding that there was “no point” in Atletico striker Diego Costa being on the pitch as Upamecano largely dominated proceedings from start to finish.
“It looks so easy to him the game. He looks like he is playing with his mates and that’s when you know you’ve got a good player.”
Last season, Solskjaer’s side enjoyed their first top four finish since the 2017-18 season but shipped more goals (36) than Premier League rivals Manchester City and Liverpool with Lindelof in the back four.
They have already conceded 24 goals this season so far as their defensive struggles have continued despite only being halfway through the campaign.
The 22-year-old centre-back has been a colossal at the back for Leipzig, scoring one goal in 14 top-flight appearances, whilst he is averaging 1.1 tackles, 1.1 interceptions and 2.2 clearances per game, via WhoScored.
With just over two years left to run on his current contract and valued at £54m via Transfermarkt, Ed Woodward could land an absolute gem with an eye for the future by bringing Upamecano to Old Trafford in the summer.
There’s no doubt United will continue to keep a close eye on his contract situation over the course of the January transfer window.
AND in other news, Man Utd’s Jesse Lingard produced one of his worst performances in the FA Cup…