Manchester City have made an offer for Valenciennes defender Dayot Upamecano and will rival Manchester United for the 17-year-old’s signature this summer.
According to reports in the Daily Mail the Citizens are keen to take advantage of the fact that their biggest domestic rivals haven’t been able to clinch a deal for Upamecano yet, despite having been very close in January.
It’s said that the only reason the youngster isn’t a Red Devils player already is because extra costs being added to the arranged £350,000 transfer fee have stalled negotiations, but that could be enough to see City swoop in and steal the prodigy before United have had a chance to make headway.
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Recent rumours had suggested that United were set to announce a deal for Upamecano shortly, but the latest is that fluctuating figures regarding his wages and bonuses have pushed the move into the realms of doubt.
There can be little argument made over the fact that City will be voracious in their efforts to assume control, though at the moment it could go either way.
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Given how frequently City have been accused of wasting young talent one would think that United might have hold some advantage. The sheer amount of money the powers that be at the Etihad spend on improving their first-team squad each summer makes it extremely difficult for academy graduates to have little more than a sniff, and sooner or later it can expected that it might cost them.
Van Gaal's plans
United on the other hand boast a very good track record of promoting players from their youth system to the first-team, and with Louis van Gaal at the helm that doesn’t look being a set of stats that changes much.
Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett and James Wilson have all featured for United in the Premier League this term and Van Gaal has previous, having helped the careers of players like Victor Valdes, Xavi and Thomas Muller take off.
Of course in the main such potentially trivial pursuits won’t cause Van Gaal too much alarm if they do go awry. Upamecano might be a young French talent who is quickly garnering an exciting reputation, but with United still in transition the deals that will really appeal to the fans and the board are those that can solidify the club’s position as contenders for the Premier League title.
Manchester United fans, should Van Gaal be looking at youth for the future or should he be concentrating more on improving his first-team? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.