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Liverpool and Manchester United are apparently set to ‘go head-to-head’ for the signing of RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, with a host of European clubs likewise watching the in-demand Frenchman.

It is clear that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are in desperate requirement for defensive supports, with big injuries to first-choice pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez leaving the back line significantly depleted.

Klopp is an admirer of Upamecano and sees the 22-year-old as ‘a natural future partner for Van Dijk’ at the heart of his defence however must match the swift moves made by United, according to the Mirror.

Upamecano has a ₤ 38million release clause inserted into his agreement with Leizpig, which officially enters into play at the end of the present project.

It is reported nevertheless that United will aim to trigger the provision early and have a deal in location ready for when the summer season window opens, much to the dismay of their bitter competitors on Merseyside.

It stays increasingly not likely that Leipzig would sanction any early sale of Upamecano this month, with the group sitting second in the Bundesliga table – just 4 points off the top – and through to the Champions League knock-out rounds.

© Provided by Daily Mail Upamecano, seen challenging Erling Haaland, has a release stipulation of ₤ 38m in the summer season © Provided by Daily Mail The 22-year-old has actually earned a string of admirers with his powerful play and all round versatility

Klopp will be managed an up close appearance at Upamecano’s capability in mid February, as Leipzig have been drawn versus Liverpool in the round of 16.

In recent months Upamecano has also been heavily related to a stay in Germany with Bayern Munich, in addition to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

At present Liverpool have only Joel Matip as a fit, very first team main protector. The Cameroon star has a chequered injury history and has currently missed out on a series of matches this season due to time spent in the treatment room.

Both Liverpool and United have actually had their financial resources badly hampered as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, though Klopp just recently pointed to the tightening of handbag strings by his board following the Reds’ recent defeat to Burnley.

Klopp meant his disappointment that they have actually not been able to generate reinforcements with his squad set to be significantly impacted by the defensive injuries for the remainder of the project.

© Offered by Daily Mail Liverpool are really feeling the scarcity in defence following injury to essential male Virgil van Dijk

Klopp insisted the decision to generate new recruits prior to the end of the month was out of his hands.

‘ These decisions are not my choices,’ he stated.

‘ If someone thinks we need to do something, I can not decide if we do something in the transfer market or not. That must be clear.’

The Reds have actually also been connected with moves for numerous other defenders consisting of Bayern Munich’s David Alaba, Schalke’s Ozan Kabak and Brighton’s Ben White.

But Klopp admitted earlier in January that a move for a centre back is not likely due to the effect of Covid-19.

He said: ‘I can not say certainly we will not bring anyone in, it’s just not likely since of the situation in the world.

‘ We should not forget that the scenario is a difficult one for all people and for football clubs as well.’

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