Man United ‘upset’ Dayot Upamecano and his representatives by offering £200,000 below his value in 2015.
The 21-year-old has instead started the season in impressive form for Leipzig, helping the current Bundesliga leaders concede just three goals in their opening five matches, with Upamecano himself scoring in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Hertha Berlin.
But The Sun claim that Man United could have had the Frenchman in their ranks as early as five years ago when he was still in the Valenciennes youth team.
Upamecano left the French side for Salzburg in summer 2015 and stayed for 18 months before joining Leipzig, yet Man United opted not to sign him even before he moved to Austria for the sake of £200,000.
The defender was interested in linking up with Louis van Gaal’s team aged just 15 but was ‘upset’ when an agreement over a fee could not be reached, with Man United offering £500,000 for a player Valenciennes valued at £700,000.
The Sun quote ‘an insider in the deal’ as saying: “Dayot wanted to join United and the fee really was nothing. At first he got the red-carpet treatment but then they would not go that bit further with their offer and he was gone.”
Upamecano signed a new Leipzig deal in July that increased his release clause to a reported €42m (£38.1m), with Arsenal said to be interested.
Jamie Carragher has also tipped Liverpool to make a move for “a young guy who everyone’s talking about”.
“He’s not the profile of Van Dijk, maybe 6ft 1, 6ft 2, so he’s maybe not that aerial challenger, but if that’s the one Liverpool wanted next summer, bring it forward, pay extra money, and do it on January 1.
“That means Liverpool would have to get through the next 11 league games without Virgil van Dijk.”