Jürgen Klopp

How Bayern Munich beat Chelsea to end their six-year Upamecano chase


The then-16-year-old had just become European champion with France's Under-17 side and was lining out for Valenciennes' U19 team when Red Bull Salzburg approached him and invited Upamecano and his family to visit the club's training grounds.


Arsenal, Marseille and Rennes were also eager, but Salzburg's attention to detail won Upamecano and his entourage over with a PowerPoint presentation that displayed a clear career path as well as how the club would nurture him on and off the field, catering for his accommodation and educational needs as well as his footballing ones.


That career path brought him initially to feeder club Liefering, where he played 16 times in the Austrian 2 Liga before stepping up to Salzburg's first team, giving him a taste of top-flight football as well as a chance to prove himself in the Europa League.


As with many Salzburg graduates, the next step on the ladder was a move to RB Leipzig, where Upamecano raised his profile as one of the best young defenders in European football under Ralph Hasenhuttl and Julian Nagelsmann.


Liverpool turned to fellow Bundesliga defender Ozan Kabak to solve their crisis at the back, initially signing the Schalke centre-back on loan to cover their lengthy injury list.


Sule has not been a guaranteed starter under Hansi Flick thanks to the form of veteran Jerome Boateng, while Alaba will leave in the summer on a free transfer after turning down a new deal with the Champions League holders.






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