Arsenal are rumoured to be considering a bid for RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano this summer in order to help fix their defensive problems.
The 20 year-old was part of the tightest defence in the Bundesliga last season, as he kept five clean sheets in his 15 league appearances before missing the majority of the second half of the season with a knee injury.
As reported by ESPN, the German club have not yet received an official bid, but are aware of the north London club’s interest in the defender.
Upamecano is currently contracted until 2021, as Leipzig attempt to convince the Frenchman to extend his stay. However, should they fail to do so, the Bundesliga club may opt to sell him this summer in order to recoup a sizeable transfer fee.
A potential setback for this transfer could be the Gunners‘ failure to qualify for the Champions League. Unai Emery’s team finished fifth in the Premier League, and on Wednesday night, missed the opportunity to qualify by winning the Europa League, as they lost 4-1 to Chelsea in the final.
Owing to the financial implications of not participating in the European football’s biggest competition, the north Londoners may now be priced out of a move for the centre back. Recent reports put Arsenal’s summer budget at just £40m – a total that may not even cover Upamecano’s transfer fee alone.
Furthermore, Leipzig finished in third place in the Bundesliga this season, so a move to Arsenal would see Upamecano swap the Champions League for the Europa League, albeit whilst likely receiving a hefty pay rise.
If this does prevent a move, the Gunners will no doubt still keep tabs on the Frenchman’s movements, especially if Leipzig fail to tie the defender down to a new deal.
Arsenal may need to pin their hopes on qualifying for the Champions League next season and hope the German club do not succeed in their attempts to extend Upamecano’s contract, meaning the centre-back will be available at a cheaper price in 12 months’ time.