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Man United 'decided NOT to rival Bayern for Upemecano before £38.5m switch'

  /  autty

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted against moving for RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano as the Manchester United manager wants a left-footed centre-back, according to reports.

Upamecano is set to join German Bayern Munich in a £38.5million move after the German champions activated the French defender's release clause.

The centre-back is widely-regarded as one of the top defenders in Europe with Liverpool and Chelsea also believed to be keen on him before his Bayern agreement.

But according to ESPN, the Red Devils chose not to rival Bayern for Upamecano as they do not fit their requirements as a left-sided defender.

Solskjaer only has right-footed centre-backs at his disposal including captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones.

Marcos Rojo, the club's only left-footed option in that position, departed for Boca Juniors in January.

Upamecano, meanwhile, is right-footed but has played as a left centre-back for a healthy chunk of his career.

United boss Solskjaer has been keen on a left-footed centre-back for some time and the Norwegian appeared to confirm this in a post-match conversation with  ex-Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake last season.

After United beat the Cherries 5-2 in the Premier League last July, Solskjaer was caught on the BT Sport cameras appearing to tell Ake: 'We need a left-footed centre back so keep going.'

Ake went on to join United's rivals Manchester City, who now lead Manchester United by ten points at the top of the Premier League table.

Meanwhile, United have persisted with Maguire and Lindelof as their first-choice options at the back but their defensive partnership has been questioned by Gary Neville.

After United's 1-1 draw with West Brom last week, Neville said: 'I want to make a point on Lindelof. Lindelof's problem is Maguire, Maguire's problem is Lindelof.

'The problem is he (Lindelof) is alongside somebody who isn't the most mobile in Harry Maguire, and I think that is the problem that Lindelof has got. That actually they have invested £80m in Maguire, so they are going to have to put somebody beside him.

'I don't think he does a good job alongside Maguire because they both just drop back a little bit and United need someone to get up the pitch. They have got to get up the pitch, they have got to be more aggressive.

'They have got to have the nerve to make the stomach churn a little bit, that there is a bit too much space in behind them than there ordinarily would be and that is what the best teams have.'