Dayot Upamecano will join Bayern Munich at the end of the season after the German champions activated the $50 million release clause in the RB Leipzig defender's contract. Upamecano, 22, was wanted by clubs across Europe this summer with his clause constituting a tempting price for a player who has emerged as one of the top young defenders in his age group over recent seasons. Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool were all keen on the France international but Bayern have long led the race and have secured his services for next season before this one is even complete.
He will join on July 1 and put pen to paper on a five-year contract. His arrival means Bayern Munich have already secured a replacement for Austrian defender David Alaba, who is highly likely to leave the Allianz Arena when his contract expires at the end of the season.
"We are happy that we were able to win Dayot Upamecano for FC Bayern Munich," said sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic. "Dayot will be a very important component for our team in the coming years, we are convinced of that."
Upamecano's progress is a sign of the success of the Red Bull system of clubs across Europe. Having caught the eye of Manchester United in the summer of 2015, the Valenciennes academy graduate opted to move to Salzburg and the lure of first team football before subsequently departing for RB Leipzig two years later.
His time in Germany was a huge success as he earned his first caps for the France national team and helped RB Leipzig reach the Champions League semifinals. Having signed him for just over $10 million, the German side have made a healthy profit on Upamecano even if he might have been worth far more without the exit clause in his contract.
"Of course, we would have liked to keep Dayot Upamecano at RB Leipzig," said CEO Oliver Mintzlaff. "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. The talks with Dayot and his agent as well as with FC Bayern were transparent and constructive at all times. It was well-known that Dayot Upamecano's contract contained a buy-out clause. Our task was therefore to prepare for the situation that he would one day leave us, and we've done our homework in that regard.
"Dayot has shown outstanding development during his time in Leipzig, which is exemplary for our philosophy of finding young talents and consistently bringing them to the top level. Dayot has been and remains an important factor in our success and FC Bayern can look forward to an outstanding footballer and great person. We are now looking to the tasks ahead and want to give Liverpool a great fight on Tuesday in the Champions League last 16."