Bayern Munich have confirmed that they’ve won the race for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.
The French international has agreed terms on a five-year deal with the German, European and world champions, despite Premier League interest.
He will move to Bavaria in the summer in a £38.5million transfer, with Bayern paying the release clause in his RBL contract.
Both Chelsea and Liverpool had been keeping tabs on Upamecano, with the hope of bringing him to England.
But Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic confirmed on Friday night: “I can confirm and we are very happy about that at FC Bayern.
“We had very good, intensive and professional discussions with Dayot and his agent Volker Struth for several months.”
Speaking to Bild, he continued: “We knew we had very tough competition. Upamecano is a young player, 22, whose qualities are already exceptionally developed.
“I was always convinced that we had with a good concept. We presented him with our vision of his career at FC Bayern.
“During the past week I spoke to everyone involved again. At the end of a long process, the player, his family and his management were convinced that FC Bayern was the right partner for them.”
Upamecano missed RBL’s meeting with Augsburg on Friday night. Asked about his exit, the club’s sporting director, Markus Krosche, admitted: “Dayot has a release clause in his contract, therefore we’re not in the driver’s seat.”
Upamecano’s move to Bayern is a blow for both Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp.
New Chelsea boss Tuchel was keen to build a new look defence at Stamford Bridge around the 22-year-old.
Klopp, who had enquired about a potential move from RBL in January – hoping to pay a slight premium to land Upamecano six months early – only to be rebuffed, had similarly hoped to take him to Anfield in the summer following his side’s injury issues in defence this term; that idea was part of the reason why Ozan Kabak’s arrival was signed off on the proviso that it was only on loan with an option.
Manchester United have been long-term admirers of Upamecano too – seeing a move fall through last summer – but have recently cooled their interest, instead preferring his partner at RBL, Ibrahima Konate.
Leipzig already have their Upamecano replacement lined up, in the form of Strasbourg’s 20-year-old defender Mohamed Simakan, who is set to cost just under £15million.