Liverpool target Mohamed Simakan has agreed on personal terms with RB Leipzig regarding a proposed move to the Bundesliga, according to reports. It seems the German outfit are preparing for the seemingly inevitable exit of Dayot Upamecano.
This comes from Sky Germany, as per reporter, Max Bielefeld. He believes that Simakan has already made his intentions known and has informed Leipzig he is keen on a move.
The 20-year-old versatile centre-back has been identified as a long-term successor to the in-demand Upamecano.
According to The Guardian, Upamecano is currently on the summer wishlist of some of Europe’s biggest teams including Chelsea, Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Leipzig have made it known under no circumstances will they sell the former Salzburg star this month.
Liverpool, too, have been heavily credited with an interest in the three-time France international. The 22-year-old has a release clause of £37.4 million that comes into play in the summer.
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Given his age, experience and relatively low fee, this has the potential to be one of the great financial masterstrokes in the transfer market, and Leipzig are clearly aware.
Julian Nagelsmann and the board did well to convince Upamecano to stay another year following interest from United and Real Madrid last summer.
However, this time around, it is hard to imagine a scenario where Upamecano stays beyond this season. He is arguably the most coveted centre-back currently on the market, after all.
Finding an Upamecano alternative
Still, Leipzig’s reported capture of Simakan from Strasbourg can work in Liverpool’s favour, too. The Reds are due to face Upamecano in the Champions League next month which will give Jurgen Klopp a rare opportunity to further scout the player.
A deal for Upamecano seemed unlikely a few weeks ago after The Athletic reported that Bayern Munich were the favourites to sign the Leipzig defender.
However, Bayern’s confidence in landing Upamecano may have been shaken after a report from Goal claimed that Hansi Flick was after Real Madrid’s Eder Militao.
If these reports are true, it could indicate that Bayern are exploring other options beyond Upamecano for next season. David Alaba’s proposed move to Madrid could help matters, too.
With that said, suddenly the race for Upamecano appears to be back on.
Jurgen Klopp has already revealed the Reds won’t be signing a centre-back this month, so hopefully, by the time the summer looms around, Upamecano will be at the top of Liverpool’s wishlist.