Mon. Mar 8th, 2021

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Why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not want Dayot Upamecano at Manchester United

2 min read
Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano
Dayot Upamecano will join Bayern Munich this summer (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United decided against a move for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly favouring a left-footed centre-half this summer.

Bayern Munich announced this week they are set to sign 22-year-old Upamecano from Leipzig at the end of the season after agreeing to pay his €42.5million (£37m) release clause.

United, Liverpool and Chelsea were among the clubs said to have scouted the France international over the last 18 months with Bayern winning the race to keep one of the Bundesliga’s best talents in Germany.

The Red Devils are understood to be keen on bringing in defensive reinforcements this summer but according to ESPN, Solskjaer is on the lookout for a left-footed option to partner Harry Maguire at the back. The report adds United informed Upamecano of that preference before the Bayern deal was signed.  

The Premier League giants have also been linked with moves for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and David Carmo of Braga. Of those, Carmo and Mings are naturally left-footed.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Solskjaer reportedly wants the club to bring in a left-footed defender (Picture: Getty)

Solskjaer has regularly named Victor Lindelof as Maguire’s partner at the back during his time at the club with Eric Bailly also forcing his way into the equation since his return to fitness. Axel Tuanzebe also remains a squad option with Phil Jones still on the injury list.

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Maguire and Lindelof have come in for criticism on more than one occasion this season with United legend Gary Neville insisting the club will not win the league with that duo at the base of the team.

‘Lindelof’s problem is Maguire and Maguire’s problem is Lindelof. I think if you put Lindelof alongside Van Dijk at Liverpool, I think he’s a really good player’ Neville told Monday Night Football.

‘He understands the game, he reads the game, he’s a good defender. If he was alongside a Ferdinand or a Van Dijk, I think he’d make a great pair. The problem is he alongside somebody who’s not the most mobile in Harry Maguire.

‘The problem Lindelof has got is they’ve invested £80m on Maguire so they’re going to have to put someone alongside him. They both seem to drop back a little bit and you need someone who can get them up the pitch.’

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