It might not be safe to go as far as calling Dayot Upamecano “Super Agent Dayot” with regards to his former RB Leipzig teammate Marcel Sabitzer joining Bayern Munich, but he certainly played a part.
The two players spent over three years together at Leipzig and developed a relatively close relationship at Die Roten Bullen, under both Ralf Rangnick and Julian Nagelsmann.
Sabitzer is not shy from expressing how he was a childhood Bayern fan and it was always his dream to play there, but his connection with both Nagelsmann and Upamecano helped make his decision a little bit easier. “I got on well with Dayot and had a good connection with the coaching team (at Leipzig). For this reason I am very happy that I can continue with them here,” Sabitzer said in an official video interview with Bayern’s web site (via Abendzeitung).
Upamecano had agreed his deal to join Bayern last winter, but didn’t officially start training with the club until this summer. Even after he had left Leipzig, Sabitzer said that the two still kept in touch frequently and that the center back recommended a move to Bayern for the Austrian. “When the rumors came up, Dayot always sent me a few screenshots and said, ‘Come here. It’s cool here and you would be comfortable.’ Then we wrote back and forth a bit and flailed,” Sabitzer explained. The rumors did sort of appear out of thin air midway through the transfer window, but it quickly became increasingly clear that there wasn’t much standing in the way of the move actually materializing.
Despite having the relationship with Nagelsmann and the majority of Leipzig’s coaching staff that also transferred to Bayern, Sabitzer confirmed that Upamecano was the only one he really had personal contact with ahead of the move. The conversations he had with Nagelsmann regarding the move were all about how he would be managed in Bayern’s midfield, during which Sabitzer said the manager “told me a lot.”
For Nagelsmann, Sabitzer, and Upamecano, they go up against their former side this weekend at the Red Bull Arena in Leipzig for the first time since joining Bayern. Nagelsmann is wary of receiving a less than welcome reception upon returning to Leipzig, but it’s nothing he, Sabitzer, or Upamecano aren’t ready for.