Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward did not launch a bid for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano last month as a result of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s preference for a left-footed centre-back, according to reports. Upamecano’s move to Bayern Munich, set to take place at the end of the season, was announced earlier this month to put an end to a long period of speculation regarding the 22-year-old’s future.
A number of Premier League clubs, including Chelsea and Liverpool as well as United, had been tipped to land his signature.
A modest release clause of just £38million was written into the defender’s Leipzig contract, which attracted interest from all over Europe.
However, Bayern swooped first and got their reward in their search for a new defender, with stalwart David Alaba in line to leave the club at the end of the current campaign.
United had a long-standing interest in Upamecano and reportedly tried to sign him back in 2015, during his Valenciennes days, for a fee of just £1.7m.
They were also heavily linked with his services throughout the January transfer window, but it has been revealed that Woodward chose not to pursue a move.
United opted against launching a bid due to Solskjaer’s desire to sign a left-footed central defender, according to ESPN.
The club’s only option in this respect, Marcos Rojo, left Old Trafford on a permanent basis to join Boca Juniors last month after failing to stake his claim for a return to Solskjaer’s first-team picture.
The Norwegian boss has often opted to deploy right-footers Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof at the back this season, with the former having been forced to play in the left-sided position despite not being ideally suited to the role.
The club’s decision to allow Bayern to land Upamecano unopposed means they will be forced to soldier on without a left-footed option until at least the summer transfer window.
Upamecano burst onto the scene as a teenager at Valenciennes, catching the eye during France’s under-17 European Championship campaign in 2015.
It was around this time that United launched an unsuccessful attempt to lure him to Old Trafford before he eventually opted to join Red Bull Salzburg for just over £2m.
Upamecano’s advisor Thierry Martinez previously revealed the reason behind United’s failure to sign the defender six years ago, claiming that the Red Devils were moving the goalposts during negotiations.
“An intermediary met with us,” Martinez told SoFoot in February 2019. “But there was a difference between the project she presented us and what was actually going to happen.
“A flat was promised, but that changed to a host family with only six return trips for his parents.
“When you uproot a player at such a young age, that isn’t enough. I wanted Dayot to have a stable emotional balance off the pitch.”
Upamecano has featured heavily for Leipzig this season, playing in all but two of his side’s Bundesliga matches and keeping nine clean sheets in the process.
His strong form earned him a debut call-up to Didier Deschamps’ senior France squad in September last year.
The youngster was handed his full international debut against Sweden, before scoring on his second appearance three days later against beaten 2018 World Cup finalists Croatia.