Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has confirmed the Bundesliga champions’ interest in RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano, who has been linked in recent months with Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City.
At 22, Upamecano is considered one of the top young defenders in Europe and is widely expected to leave Leipzig at the end of the season when his €42m (£37.4m) release clause becomes active.
The Frenchman committed his immediate loyalties to Leipzig last summer, but that only delayed his inevitable departure by 12 months and he is on course to be the next starlet to leave the German club for big money.
Bayern will be on the market for a centre-back as David Alaba nears the end of his contract and seeks a new challenge after more than 10 years in Bavaria, widely expected to be with Real Madrid.
“We will of course deal with it, not only with this player, but in principle with all the positions where we want and need to do something,” Rummenigge told Bild Live regarding Upamecano.
“It is too early for something like that, he's still a Leipzig player at least until the end of the season. But it is common knowledge that he has a clause in his contract.”
A centre-back is a priority in 2021 for Manchester United as they seek a long-term partner for Harry Maguire. Upamecano has been at the top of their list of potential targets alongside Villarreal and Spain defender Pau Torres, although interest was thought to have started cooling when Bayern became a serious contender for the Frenchman’s signature.
United are also keeping tabs on several other young targets, including Jules Kounde, Ben White, Caglar Soyuncu and more recently Facundo Medina.
Liverpool’s centre-back problems have been well established 2020/21 as a result of long-term injuries to both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. The Reds have been an eye on Schalke's Ozan Kabak, but Upamecano has been reported as top of their ‘wanted list’ in recent months.
Chelsea have been linked with Upamecano for a year. Thiago Silva was signed as a free agent last summer but the veteran Brazilian can only be considered a short-term solution.
Manchester City were weighing up a move for Upamecano last January, before ultimately investing more than £100m on Nathan Ake and Ruben Dias during the summer. John Stones has also since returned to something like his best form after it appeared his time at the club was over.