Manchester United are preparing to sign 16-year-old Frenchman Dayot Upamecano. The defender, who plays for Ligue 2 club Valenciennes, is making a name for himself as one of the best up and coming centre-backs. Many have likened him to former France captain Marcel Desailly.
The youngster is said to be capable of playing at both centre-back and full-back, and this versatility is one of the many reasons why both Manchester United and Arsenal desperately want to secure his signature. However, there is interest not just in England but also in France, with French duo Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco interested in the defender.
In January, it was reported that Upamecano was close to signing a contract with Arsenal, but he eventually decided to stay in France. Now the Metro is reporting the Frenchman is nearing a Manchester United move.
The newspaper claims United are set to seal his signature after agreeing a fee at the weekend, and that Upamecano has been to Carrington ahead of the move where he checked out the training facilities. They also claim Manchester City are planning a late move for the player, but that United remain in the driving seat.
Dayot Upamecano played an integral part in France’s Under 17 European Cup. France went on to win the tournament, and the centre-back played in all six games, being one of only nine players at the tournament to play more than 400 minutes. France’s defence was well documented by many during the tournament, as they managed to not concede a single goal until the second half of the semi-final. Umpamecano thus made a big name for himself.
At just 16, it is unclear how Umpamecano’s career may pan out. Early signs indicate the defender could become one of the best around in years to come. United are supposedly close to agreeing a fee in the region of £500,000 – a large fee for such a young player, but a price that indicates just how talented he is.