Bayern build for the future with Upamecano capture from Leipzig

By Klaus Bergmann, dpa

Bayern Munich board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic believes Dayot Upamecano “will be a very important member of our team in the coming years,” after the Bundesliga leaders confirmed the summer transfer of the young defender from RB Leipzig.

Upamecano, 22, will join the German record champions on July 1 on a contract to 2026 after Bayern met the 42.5 million euro release clause in his deal with Leipzig, Munich said on Sunday.

“I’m pleased we’ve managed to sign Dayot,” said Bayern coach Hansi Flick. “But our task is to perform right now, and the same goes for Dayot at Leipzig.”

The fee is notable for Bayern especially amid the coronavirus crisis. Only club record transfer Luca Hernandez (80 million euros) and Leroy Sane at around 50 million euros have cost more.

His arrival is to make up for the expected summer departure of David Alaba, and the future of centre-back Jerome Boateng in Munich is also uncertain.

Upamecano joined Leipzig from RB Salzburg in 2017 and developed into a French international during his time at the club.

“Of course, we would have liked to keep Dayot Upamecano at RB Leipzig,” said club CEO Oliver Minzlaff. “However, Dayot indicated to us very fairly and in good time that he would like a new challenge this summer and take the next step.”

Sporting director Markus Kroesche added Upamecano was a “player with exceptional skills.

“The fact that he will be leaving us at the end of the season is a shame, of course, given his performances for RB Leipzig, but at the same time it was to be expected to a certain extent.”

Leipzig are second in the Bundesliga having beaten Augsburg 2-1 on Friday while Bayern can extend their lead at the top to seven points again at Arminia Bielefeld on Monday.

Bayern are back in domestic action after lifting a sixth successive title at the Club World Cup in Qatar on Thursday.

They travelled without Javi Martinez and Leon Goretzka due to coronavirus infections while Thomas Mueller tested positive in Doha – the latter pair are definitely out for the clash with third-last Bielefeld along with winger Serge Gnabry.

“We have to wait and see with Thomas,” said Flick.

“Leon hasn’t trained today because he felt something in his calf. I don’t think he’ll be an option for tomorrow either. We have to wait and see with Javi, too.”

Flick also confirmed that Boateng, who missed the win over Tigres UANL on Thursday for personal reason, “won’t play tomorrow, even though he trained today.”

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