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Manchester United monitoring young French defender, release clause revealed



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Manchester United are reported to be monitoring RB Leipzig centre-back Castello Lukeba, who has a release clause of £60 million, which becomes active in 2025.

United have struggled defensively this season mainly due to injuries to the likes of Lisandro Martínez and Raphaël Varane, which has led to a variety of defensive pairings in front of André Onana’s goal.

The club’s backline injury crisis reached a new level of severity at the weekend which saw Casemiro fill in alongside Harry Maguire in the FA Cup semi-final clash against Coventry City.

With Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS expected to do a clear out in the first transfer window in charge of sporting operations in the summer, United’s defence, particularly at centre-back, could be looking pretty sparse.

Veterans like Varane and Jonny Evans look set to leave Old Trafford and the futures of Victor Lindelöf and Maguire are uncertain as West Ham are said to have reignited their interest in the Englishman following a revitalisation of his form this season and the club might be interested in selling him whilst his stocks are high.

Due to this, The Reds have been linked to many names in this position, most prominently Juventus’ Gleison Bremer and Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite, and now RB Leipzig’s Castello Lukeba has been added to this list.

Lukeba, 21, has become a regular in Marco Rose’s side since joining from Olympique Lyon for £35 million last summer, playing 28 times in the Bundesliga so far this season.

It is being reported by footmercato that United have been monitoring the young Frenchman for weeks, however, as he’s become a team member of their squad, it is understood that Leipzig are not keen on letting his talents go.

In his interview with BBC Sport following his successful 25% ownership bid, Sir Jim Ratcliffe highlighted the importance of clever recruitment when building a successful team and release clauses are pivotal in his transfer strategy.

A release clause of £60 million becomes active in 2025 in Lukeba’s which could be a bargain if he continues progressing how he is. However, it must be noted that Chelsea are also interested in the player so they could be competition in bringing his signature to Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old has quickly become a fan favourite in Germany because of his physicality and aerial dominance, which, from a United point of view, would pair very nicely with the skill set of Martínez.