Manchester City are looking to get one over their cross-city rivals Manchester United as they have reportedly opened talks with RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.
The 21-year-old proved he can handle the biggest stage of all as he helped Leipzig to the Champions League semi-finals last term.
His impressive form earned him a three-year contract extension, which was also used to fend off any interest.
Upamecano made his international debut for France last weekend and his stock is continuing to rise.
There is a clause included in the centre-back’s new contract which allows him to leave for a £54million fee next summer.
City do not have the patience to wait so have already started negotiations with the defender, according to Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport.
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Pep Guardiola is keen to bolster his back line and find a long-term partner for Aymeric Laporte.
But United have a similar plan as they want Upamecano to play alongside Harry Maguire in the heart of their defence.
The Red Devils have not made any formal bids this summer as most of their efforts are tied up with finding a new attacker.
Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has been made the No 1 priority but alternatives are also being considered.
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A new left-back could also arrive at Old Trafford with Real Madrid’s Sergio Reguilon being monitored closely.
Once those two positions are finalised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope he can sign a new centre-back.
But the longer they wait the more difficult it will be to catch up with City in the running for Upamecano.
RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann has recently warned that he will not be letting the ex-Red Bull Salzburg ace leave in this window.
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“He will be here for the season. I’m sure about that,” Nagelsmann told ESPN
“As for the future, I’m not sure as he is very talented. Lots of clubs will want to buy – perhaps next season it could be real that he leaves the club. But this season he will stay.”
But like with all transfers, if the right bid is made then anything is possible.
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