Real Madrid have set their sights on RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and are set to battle it out against arch rivals Barcelona for his signature in the summer.
According to a report in Spanish publication Don Balon, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is willing to do whatever it takes to beat Barcelona in the race for the 19-year-old Dayot Upamecano’s signature in the summer transfer window.
Barcelona have been heavily linked with the RB Leipzig centre-back in recent weeks and the young Frenchman is being considered as a replacement for Samuel Umtiti, whose future has been the subject of a lot of speculation after failing to agree to a new contract with the Blaugrana so far.
Even Manchester United were rumoured to be interested in the French under-21 international. Incidentally, they are also reportedly front runners to sign Umititi. In any case, the 24-year-old’s departure will undoubtedly come as a huge loss for Barcelona, but failing to replace him would be worse. Upamecano could be a great acquisition for Real Madrid as well.
Over the course of the the past two seasons, he has established himself as one of the best young centre-backs in all of Europe with his fantastic performances for Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig.
LEIPZIG, GERMANY – AUGUST 27: Dayot Upamecano of Leipzig passes the ball during the Bundesliga match between RB Leipzig and Sport-Club Freiburg at Red Bull Arena on August 27, 2017 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Ronny Hartmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Dayot Upamecano passes the ball during the Bundesliga match against Sport-Club Freiburg at Red Bull Arena on August 27, 2017 in Leipzig, Germany. (Picture Courtesy – Getty Images)
A defender in the same mould as Umtiti, Upamecano is tall, strong, good with the ball at his feet, very fast for his side and is good technically as well. He is still improving in all these aspects and given the right guidance, he could grow to become one the best defenders on the planet.
Upamecano, who turns 20 this year, is young enough for Barcelona to shape into a player that would suit their philosophy. Should the Catalan giants bring him in to replace his compatriot, he would slot right into the starting XI alongside Gerard Pique and game time wouldn’t be an issue.
At Real Madrid, he is likely being seen as the long-term replacement for club captain Sergio Ramos, who recently turned 32 and has two years left on his current contract. While the legendary Spaniard still has a few years of top flight football left in him, Los Blancos do need to start planning for the future.
Playing time may not come as easily, with Jesus Vallejo and Nacho Fernandez present to give him competition, but a chance to work under Zinedine Zidane isn’t something that too many French youngsters would pass up and Real will hope that Upamecano could blossom into a top class defender in the same way Raphael Varane has.
It is rarely easy to make a decision between Barcelona and Real Madrid when both clubs are vying for your signature, but Upamecano will likely have a big decision to make this summer. Winning this transfer battle against Barcelona will be a sweet victory for Real, and it will be interesting to see where the youngster ends up in the coming months.