Manchester United are in pole position to sign rising French starlet Dayot Upamecano despite the fact the youngster is also wanted by Juventus, according to new reports.
TalkSPORT, citing French newspaper L’Equipe, claim that the 16-year-old is being followed by the Red Devils and that they’ve already offered him a contract, one that he is seriously considering.
The defender’s contract with current club Valenciennes is up this summer, making him a viable transfer option for clubs looking to bolster their youth prospects.
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From the sounds of it United are looking to do exactly that, and if they’ve already put a deal on the table for him to mull over it implies they’re being extremely proactive in their attempts to pip Juve to his signature.
As far as experience and pedigree go Upamecano is obviously short of enough of either to be a realistic option for Louis van Gaal's first-team plans next season, but he could well be drafted into the academy with a view to continuing his development under the watchful eyes of the Old Trafford tutors.
The early bird
If United can land him then it will negate the possibility of them potentially shelling out millions to sign him in the future if he comes good, whilst the fact that he will cost nothing, virtue of his contract at Valenciennes being up in the coming weeks, means that it’s a risk free venture for the Manchester outfit.
Upamecano’s addition - presuming of course United can tempt him to opt for England over the allures of Italy - would no doubt allay fears that the Red Devils are beginning to concentrate less and less on their youth system providing players for the first-team.
The recent exits of the likes of Angelo Henriquez, Saidy Janko, Michael Keane, plus the uncertain future of Adnan Januzaj, may have left certain groups of United fans concerned over which direction the club is headed regarding the development of players at younger levels.
Van Gaal has always been a manager to place unerring faith in talented teenagers, the careers of the likes of Xavi, Victor Valdes and Thomas Muller are evidence enough of that, but all the same beating rivals to prodigal young stars who have yet to turn into the finished product is something he needs to continue if he’s to have the fans satisfied about the future.
United fans, do any of you know enough about Upamecano to have an opinion on whether or not he should be purchased? Let us know in the comments box below.