Liverpool and Man Utd have received a boost in the race for Dayot Upamecano amid reports Bayern Munich cannot afford to sign the defender.
The Red Bull Leipzig star is a target for all three clubs, among others, and is expected to move on in either of the next two transfer windows.
Upamecano only penned a contract extension with Leipzig in the summer but more out of courtesy so they would not lose him for nothing.
As part of the arrangement, the 22-year-old had a release clause worth £40million included which is not thought to come into play until the end of this season.
However, according to BILD, Leipzig are now planning to make a decision on Upamecano’s future in January and could let him go early providing his release clause is met.
Liverpool’s injury crisis has heightened their need for defensive reinforcements, while United are yet to solve their own problems at the back.
Despite interest from both clubs, Upamecano has just this week been tipped to move to Leipzig’s Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.
That could prove problematic for the German champions though, as Bild claim Upamecano is currently out of Bayern’s price range.
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Bayern look set to lose both David Alaba and Jerome Boateng at the end of the season on free transfers, but they have only recently signed promising teenager Tanguy Kouassi from PSG, who is tipped to help fill the void.
Real Madrid have also shot admiring glances at Upamecano in the past and manager Zinedine Zidane is believed to view his fellow Frenchman as a potential long-term successor to club captain Sergio Ramos.
Ex-Leipzig boss Ralf Rangnick said of his former player: “I got to know Upa and his family over many years.
“They not only make decisions that sound good to them in terms of his image, but they also make decisions based on the feeling of what is best for the player himself.”