Nagelsmann responds to Bayern Munich's declaration of interest in Upamecano amid Bundesliga title race

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Dayot Upamecano RB Leipzig Bayern Munich
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Karl-Heinz Rummenigge publicly stated his desire to sign the defender from RB Leipzig, who are four points behind his side in second place

RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann has reacted to Bayern Munich’s public declaration of interest in defender Dayot Upamecano.

On Thursday, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced his side wanted to sign Upamecano, with David Alaba seemingly set to leave the Bundesliga champions.

Rummenigge said no move was likely before the end of the season and, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all interested, Goal has learned there is currently no clear front-runner in the race to sign him.

Leipzig are Bayern’s closest competitors in the Bundesliga title race this season, though they are now four points off the pace after dropping points against Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg in recent weeks.

Nagelsmann admitted at the start of the season that he didn’t know if Upamecano would remain beyond the end of the campaign, but the potentially unsettling intention of Rummenigge’s declaration wasn’t lost on the coach.

“It is clever if you want to cause trouble,” Nagelsmann admitted. “But nobody is getting restless with us now.”

Upamecano signed a new contract to 2023 only last year, but said at the time that he was still speaking with other clubs.

"We know what the contractual situation with Upa looks like,” Nagelsmann added.

“And we know that we like to have him with us, but we also know how the mechanisms are in football.”

Upamecano wasn’t at his best in Leipzig’s most recent game, a tight 1-0 win over this season’s surprise package in the Bundesliga, Union Berlin.

"He's a very fine person who takes things in and wants to improve and has his heart in the right place," his coach said. "He will also perform better and be more focused than against Union."

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Upamecano only turned 22 in October but he is now only two games away from making his 100th Bundesliga appearance with Leipzig.

Since joining from Red Bull Salzburg in 2017, he has emerged as one of the world’s most promising young defenders, and was rewarded for his performances with his first senior cap for France in September.

He and Leipzig will be hoping to finish January with some momentum behind them as they look to cut the gap to Bayern with fixtures against Mainz and Bayer Leverkusen.

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