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Man Utd monitoring Leipzig star Castello Lukeba

According to French outlet Foot Mercato, Manchester United have been monitoring the progress of RB Leipzig centre-back Castello Lukeba for several weeks.

The 21-year-old made the move to Leipzig from Lyon last summer and he has since developed into a quality centre-back. His performances have been tracked by Man United, but Leipzig are reluctant to sell him this summer.

Lukeba currently has a £60 million release clause in his contract, but the option does not become active until the end of next season. Hence, United may need to pay a significant transfer fee to persuade them into a summer deal.

Big talent

The Frenchman has been a revelation since his switch to the Bundesliga this season. The left-footed centre-back has a pass completion rate of 92% in the German top-flight. He has also been brilliant with his recoveries and ability to clear his lines.

United could be eyeing a move for him with the extensive scouting in recent weeks, but it won’t be easy to do business with Leipzig. The German club previously held onto Josko Gvardiol for one extra season before selling him to Manchester City.

They could do something similar in the case of Lukeba. The youngster has been brilliant in his debut campaign and Leipzig seem determined to keep him for another season unless there is a significant transfer offer on the table this summer.

United have shown their spending power in the transfer market over the years, but there could be more conservative with their approach this time around, particularly with no Champions League revenue and Financial Fair Play concerns.

Hence, a move for Lukeba seems unlikely on the cards. United are still expected to purchase a new central defender with Raphael Varane fancied to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June.

The club have not triggered an extension clause in his deal or have no plans to open talks over a new contract on reduced salary terms. It appears they are prepared to offload him on a free transfer this summer.

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