In a column for The Athletic (which you can read here), known English football insider David Ornstein claims that Bayern Munich are now front runners in the race for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. Manchester United have reportedly cooled their interest in the player, leaving the Bavarians free to sign him for his 42m euro release clause in the summer.
According to Ornstein, Bayern’s interest stems from the fact that David Alaba and Jerome Boateng may leave the club next summer. This is a valid concern, given how Alaba and Boateng were starters not too long ago, when Bayern Munich won the Champions League en route to a treble. With only Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez left as senior first team center backs, the bosses would need to sign someone new to fill the void. As someone who knows the Bundesliga well, Upamecano fits the team perfectly.
The question is whether Leipzig’s asking price will throw a wrench into the works. 42m usually wouldn’t be a big sum of money for Bayern, but the pandemic has changed things. While there is a vaccine over the horizon, it’s unlikely that spectators will be allowed back into stadiums until the 2021-22 season at the earliest. This leaves the Bavarians will a massive budget shortfall, made further complicated by the prospect of David Alaba and Jerome Boateng leaving for free — i.e., without generating a transfer fee.
Upamecano’s salary demands, on the other hand, shouldn’t be a problem, as departures would free up the wage bill for the Frenchman’s arrival. That makes the transfer fee the big sticking point. Will Bayern take the leap for 40m euros? Or will the club bosses choose to spend the money elsewhere, maybe in an attacking right-back like Tariq Lamptey (which the team sorely needs). Who knows? Let’s keep an eye on this, the rumors should start to heat up soon.