RB Leipzig tuned up for their Champions League clash against Liverpool with a 2-1 home Bundesliga win over Augsburg Friday amid reports defender Dayot Upamecano will join Bayern Munich next season.
According to magazine Kicker and daily Bild, Bayern will pay 43 million euros ($52 million) to activate the buy-out clause in the contract of Upamecano, an unused substitute against Augsburg.
Leipzig sports director Markus Kroesche insisted Upamecano was rested ahead of Tuesday’s first leg against Liverpool which was switched to Budapest due to Germany’s Covid-19 travel restrictions from the UK.
“I just concentrated on the game, I know that the player has a buy-out clause, but I had a Bundesliga match to worry about,” said Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann, who declined to confirm the Upamecano reports.
Both Liverpool and Chelsea were also reportedly targeting the France defender.
In sub-zero temperatures, Leipzig warmed up for Liverpool with goals by Dani Olmo and Christopher Nkunku giving them a 2-0 lead at half-time.
After Nordi Mukiele was fouled in the area, Olmo had his first penalty attempt saved by Augsburg goalkeeper Rafal Gikiewicz.
However, VAR ordered the spot-kick retaken after Gikiewicz was judged to have stepped off his line and Olmo made no mistake with his second attempt.
Nkunku doubled the lead soon after when Yussuf Poulsen presented him with a simple tap-in just before half-time.
Augsburg pulled a goal back when midfielder Daniel Caligiuri converted a penalty 13 minutes from the end.
Nkunku could have added a second goal when he hit the post late on.
“We did well, but it was too tense at the end. The goal we conceded annoyed me a bit,” added Nagelsmann, as Leipzig secured a third straight league win.
His second-placed side cut Bayern Munich’s lead at the top of the Bundesliga table to four points.
Bayern host Arminia Bielefeld on Monday having beaten Mexican side Tigres on Thursday in the Club World Cup final in Qatar.