RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano has dropped the biggest hint yet that he could make a move to one of Europe’s big guns, though he insists that for now he is focused only on his current club.
Since leaving France to move to Austria with Red Bull-owned Liefering in 2015-16, he has established himself as one of his side’s standout performers and has attracted a host of big clubs into scouting him.
The 19-year-old says that it has long been a “dream” of his to play for the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United or Barcelona, all of whom have been linked with a summer swoop.
“When you’re young, you dream of Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United,” he admitted to TF1’s ‘Telefoot’ programme. “But to get there, you have to work.
“I’m proud of myself, very happy. I have to continue in this manner. Then I can look higher. For the moment, my preference is Leipzig. After that, we’ll see.”
Meanwhile, he is eyeing a place in the national team, where he will have to contend for a starting berth with the likes of Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti.
“All the big players are internationals, and I would like to be called one day,” he said. “I know I’m on the right path and so I have to continue like this.”
Upamecano, who was signed by Leipzig for €10 million from RB Salzburg, has a release clause of €100m.
He has played 36 top-flight games for the Bundesliga side and is set to feature against Marseille – a club who tried to sign him in 2015 – in the Europa League quarter-final second leg on Thursday, with the Germans leading 1-0 from their home match.