Transfer news: Upamecano to Man City, Man United; Mertens to Chelsea
The latest transfer news continues across the Premier League and here’s a look at some of the juiciest rumors.
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Dayot Upamecano, 21, is one of the hottest young center backs in the game and the RB Leipzig man has been constantly linked with a move to the Premier League.
Our partners in the UK Sky Sports report that both Manchester clubs are interested in signing the French defender when the transfer window reopens.
Upamecano is a powerful, dominant center back who is good in the air, quick on the turn and comfortable in possession. He has been a star at Leipzig over the last three seasons and they are not only challenging for the Bundesliga title but also in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League.
Which Manchester club would be the best fit for Upamecano? If he joined Man City he would start right away alongside Aymeric Laporte, while at Man United he may be a little too similar to Harry Maguire. Plus, Maguire has formed a pretty decent partnership with Victor Lindelof but it appears Man United may be looking to sign a new defender as they’ve also been linked with
Look, Upamecano is a defensive lynchpin for a young, exciting team in Leipzig so if he was to leave it would have to be for a very special project. That would surely be playing for Pep Guardiola and having the potential to become the long-term replacement for Vincent Kompany.
Chelsea tried to sign attacking midfielder Dries Mertens in January and failed but it has been suggested that Frank Lampard is still keen on signing the prolific Belgian.
A report from Gazzetta dello Sport state that Mertens, 32, is stalling on a new contract offer from Napoli after positive talks on March 1 and Chelsea will come back in with a new transfer bid when the summer transfer window opens.
Lampard has said Chelsea will do things very differently to Liverpool and Man City as they’ve dominated the top of the Premier League in recent seasons, which seems to suggest they will continue with their infusion of youth and try to buy ‘the next big thing’ instead of the finished product.
That said, Chelsea have had success this season by blending youth with experience as the likes of Willian, Cesar Azpilicueta and more recently Olivier Giroud have delivered on the pitch but also seem to be helping Chelsea’s talented youngsters develop.
Mertens has been at Napoli since 2013 and probably has one more big contract left in his career. The diminutive playmaker has become more of a central striker in recent seasons and has scored a staggering 121 goals in 309 appearances for Napoli in all competitions.
With Chelsea set to lose Willian, Pedro and Giroud who are all out of contract this summer, perhaps a move for Mertens makes sense to make sure there isn’t a vacuum of experience in the team. Mertens can be deployed as a winger or a false nine and he would certainly give Lampard plenty of options in the fluid front three he likes to play behind a central striker.