Dayot Upamecano is high on Arsenal’s radar for defensive reinforcements in the summer, although there are doubts if the club can meet RB Leipzig’s asking price.
Arsenal’s need for defensive reinforcements are no secret with several central defenders already linked with a switch to the Emirates during the summer. ESPN are now reporting that Unai Emery’s side might be targeting RB Leipzig’s young center-half Dayot Upamecano for a transfer this summer, but there could be doubts over the move given Arsenal’s limited budget.
Arsenal’s stringent approach in the transfer market was evident when they spent under £70 million on several players combined last time and are set to go with a limited budget this time out. The money set for the current transfer window is around the £45 million mark, but could have increased if Arsenal had beaten Chelsea to the Europa League crown.
With the defeat in the final, Arsenal are set for another summer with less money to spend, but that has not stopped the press from linking them to several valued players across Europe. RB Leipzig’s Upamecano is another such player to be linked despite the significant price tag he carries on his head. Leipzig would want at least £30 million for the promising defender who has a contract until 2021.
Upamecano played his part in the Leipzig defence that was the meanest in Bundesliga. His team also finished among Champions League places, meaning if he is to join Arsenal the premier competition would no longer be an option. The French youngster played 15 games last season as Leipzig finished third in Germany.
Arsenal have defensive issues, which was clear in their loss to Chelsea. There are expendable defensive players for Arsenal, who might leave the club in the close season. Shkodran Mustafi, who started on the bench during the final is the leading name among others. Laurent Koscienly might call it quits, while Nacho Monreal is on the wrong side of the thirties.
Recently, Arsenal have been linked with several central defenders, including Saint-Etienne’s William Saliba, who like Upamecano is at a young age. Other more seasoned and experienced defenders such as Kostas Manolas and Djene Dakonam of Getafe are also on the list of targets, but who the Gunners opt for, remains a question mark. Manchester United also maintain an interest in Upamecano.
Leipzig want to renew Upamecano’s deal as they are impressed by his performances. However, in the case the player, who has two more years on his current deal, asks to leave, they might be forced to sell. The German side might want at least £30 million for the promising star, something Arsenal might not be able to invest during the summer.
In any case, if Arsenal manage to offload the likes of Mustafi and Monreal, they might be able to gather the funds for players like Upamecano. Overall, the defender does look promising going by his performances this season, but will he be a worthy investment, who could slot straight into the first team is a big question mark.