According to Football London, Arsenal have been handed a massive boost in their pursuit of RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano, with the report claiming that the youngster’s release clause is likely to be reduced to a considerable extent next summer.
Arsenal were linked with a host of centre-back from different leagues in Europe in earlier in the summer, including Upamecano and Juventus’s Daniele Rugani, when former captain Laurent Koscielny headed for the exit door but the Gunners instead ended up signing William Saliba from St.Etienne and veteran David Luiz from Chelsea.
As revealed by Football London, Arsenal were one of the front runners in the race to sign Dayot Upamecano but the Gunners had a bid of €60 million turned down by the Bundesliga outfit, with Leipzig pointing to the 20-year-old’s mammoth release clause of £92 million.
Despite widespread interest from several of Europe’s elite clubs, Upamecano stayed put at RB Leipzig, as the German giants were unwilling to budge on their massive valuation of the talented centre-back, who has carved out a reputation for himself as one of the hottest defensive prospects on the planet.
Meanwhile, Arsenal have enjoyed a decent start to the campaign on all fronts, with Unai Emery’s side currently placed 4th in the Premier League standings after winning and drawing three of their first seven league fixtures.
Indeed, the Gunners should be happy with their position in the league standings for the time being but, with Leicester City and West Ham also competing on equal terms for a top-six finish this term, Unai Emery will know that he has his work cut out in guiding the team to Champions League football next season, especially with their ailing backline still very much an Achilles Heel.
As well as the failures of club-record signing Nicolas Pepe, David Luiz, too, has been a massive disappointment since his move across the English capital in the summer transfer window.
The Brazilian has made himself look like a defensive liability at times, while Sokratis, though reasonably solid on most occasions, has threatened to let the team down with lapses in concentration.
With error-prone Shkodran Mustafi very much a marginalised figure nowadays and Konstantinos Mavropanos a regular on the treatment table, Arsenal desperately need to bring in another world-class centre-back to push on under Emery and challenge for better things.
Rob Holding, of course, is back from his injury, however, one does get the feeling that a top-notch defender like Dayot Upamecano would be a big upgrade on the Englishman. The 20-year-old seems to have mastered the art of defending at a very young age and he is only going to get better with time.
To that end, the latest news regarding Upamecano’s contract situation at RB Leipzig should certainly please the Gunners faithful, with French outlet L’Equipe reporting that the French U-21 international’s release clause is set to be reduced to €60 million next summer.
Upamecano, who has made a total of 77 appearances for RB Leipzig in all competitions since his move from sister club RB Salzburg a couple of years back, is under contract until the summer of 2021, and should he not put pen to paper on fresh terms, the Gunners would be able to nab him for a much lower fee at the end of the ongoing campaign.
Having completed a club-record £72 million deal for Pepe back in the summer, it was easy to see why Arsenal weren’t ready to trigger Upamecano’s £92 million release clause but with that figure now set to reduce considerably due to the length of his current contract at Leipzig, the Gunners will certainly be fancying their chances of landing one of Europe’s most sought-after young talents.
With William Saliba also set to return to the fold next summer after the end of his loan spell at St. Etienne, someone like Upamecano would be the ideal long-term investment for the Gunners and his arrival would definitely solve a nagging issue in a key area of the pitch for Emery.
That said, the Arsenal should continue to monitor Upamecano’s situation very closely and they need to make sure that they are the first to pounce on the opportunity to snap up Upamecano next summer, given that his lowered release clause is likely to trigger an intriguing bidding war.