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Will Manchester United sign their €45m target in January?

Manchester United are presented with a unique opportunity to buy RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano in the January transfer window.

Christian Falk, Head of Football at Bild, confirmed via Twitter yesterday that a decision about Upamecano’s future could be made soon.

This week’s edition of Bild confirms that Manchester City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich are interested in Upamecano as well. Bayern’s interest in the French centre-back is ‘well-known’ and Upamecano could see himself moving to Bayern.

However, Bayern need to resolve David Alaba’s contract situation first, and consider the €45m transfer fee too high. That gives Premier League clubs an advantage over the Bavarians.

Upamecano has a €45m release clause that will come to effect next summer. United will have to negotiate a fee with Leipzig if they want to attain his services in January, although they may be competing with Liverpool for his signature given the Merseyside club’s recent defensive injuries.

The Red Devils should have strengthened their defence in the summer (Upamecano was linked with a move to Old Trafford in August) but were not able to move out sufficient players in time to make space in the squad. This has led to defensive collapses at various times this season and left the team in 14th place in the league after eight games.

Signing a player of Upamecano’s pace and quality will go a long way towards fixing United’s defensive problems, and he’s still young (22) – meaning he could be a mainstay of United’s defence for years to come.

Our take

Upamecano is a brilliant centre-back and is available on the market. United have an established interest in him and shouldn’t wait to make an early move for him. However, given the club’s history in the market, we could expect the Reds to stay silent.

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