Real Madrid identify alternative target to Dayot Upamecano

Martin Macdonald
Real Madrid identify alternative target to Dayot Upamecano

Real Madrid will reportedly look to RB Leipzig again in their search for a new central defender, with Ibrahima Konate now being targeted following Bayern Munich’s acquisition of Dayot Upamecano.

According to Defensa Central, Los Blancos believe the young Frenchman could be an ideal replacement for Sergio Ramos should the club captain leave the Santiago Bernabeu at the end of the season.

Ramos’ current contract with Madrid expires at the conclusion of the current campaign and he is currently available to talk to other clubs about a potential free transfer.

The situation surrounding the World Cup winner has only intensified Real Madrid’s efforts to sign a new central defender, as they had been planning to do so anyway in the summer, with Raphael Varane not hitting the performance heights of previous seasons in the Spanish capital.

David Alaba, Dayot Upamecano, and Pau Torres have been linked previously, but with the RB Leipzig defender now confirmed to join Bayern this summer, alternatives are being researched.

One central defensive acquisition is a certainty, but should Ramos leave then Madrid will be in the market for two.

Zinedine Zidane was reportedly impressed with Konate when he actually saw him play alongside Upamecano for RB Leipzig, and would become available if his £38m (€45m) release clause is triggered.

Why the Real Madrid move might not happen

However, there are still doubts in Real Madrid minds about whether an approach for Konate would be the right move.

The Spanish juggernaut were reportedly just as interested in Bayern in landing Upamecano, but baulked at his €42.5m release clause, which they were not willing to pay.

Bayern were, and subsequently got their replacement for Alaba.

Therefore, would Madrid be willing to pay a higher release clause for a player who is, in effect, their secondary choice from the same club no less? Unlikely.

Konate’s 2020/21 campaign has also been ravaged by injury as he has made just five starts in all competitions this season including four in the Bundesliga.

His injury issues even stretch back to 2019/20, when he made just nine starts in the whole campaign.

Defensa Central reports that, although Real Madrid remain interested, they want Konate to prove he can go a long period of time away from the sidelines if they are to sanction a deal.

Konate returned to the team recently for his first couple of appearances since December, coming off the bench against Augsburg and then Hertha.

Should he prove his fitness between now and the end of the season, Real Madrid could potentially trigger the release clause.

They do, however, face competition from Arsenal and Man Utd for the 21-year-old.