Arsenal are willing to bring Dayot Upamenco from RB Leipzig this summer as they look for a reliable replacement for wantaway defender Shkodran Mustafi.
Arsenal are in the transfer market for a central defender irrespective of any departures in that position. The Sun are reporting Arsenal are interested in RB Leipzig’s 20-year-old French defender Dayot Upamecano as they believe he could be the right choice to fill the gap in central defence for next season.
The Gunners are looking at a lot of defenders from several clubs as Unai Emery is set to make a firm call on who he might bring to the club. Earlier there were links to some La Liga defenders including Djene Dakonam of Getafe, but since then nothing has been materialising. In recent weeks, a host of French defenders are linked with the club, with Upamecano one of the prominent ones.
The young defender is considered as a replacement for wantaway defender Shkodran Mustafi who is widely tipped to leave the club. Inter Milan are one of the clubs interested in signing him and the funds generated could be put back into Arsenal’s transfer kitty.
The RB Leipzig star enjoyed a somewhat stellar season and was part of the German side’s defence that was meanest in the Bundesliga in the past season. Naturally, his performances have been enough to attract the attention of some of the top clubs across the continent. Arsenal are known to regularly keep tabs on the defender and also reportedly sent scouts to watch Upamecano play with the U-20 French side.
They watched Upamecano star for the French U-20 side as they beat Belgium 3-0, and Arsenal have been impressed with what they saw in the defender. However, Leipzig are trying to tie down the defender to a new contract, although he could be swayed by the lure of the Premier League, he will have to play Europa League football. The Frenchman has a contract with Leipzig until 2021.
But the Gunners have been pursuing the signature of Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti. The World Cup winner’s Barcelona career seems to be in jeopardy after being sparingly used during last season. Fellow Frenchman, Clement Lenglet has cemented his place at the back alongside Gerard Pique. Umtiti’s future is hence thrown into doubt with a move away from the Camp Nou expected.
However, due to Arsenal not qualifying for next season’s Champions League, they will have to operate on a stringent budget of around £45 million. If Arsenal are to make a move for Umtiti, his transfer fees alone will cover the entirety of that transfer budget. The Gunners will now focus their effort on Upamecano, who is considered a cheaper alternative to Umtiti.
Upamecano has shown promise in his performances and would be the right choice for the Gunners. He might be a cheaper alternative to Umtiti, but the talent is there to show. He might not start regularly at Arsenal in his first season if he is to join but could be a good option for the future of the club’s defence. Will Arsenal make a concrete offer for the defender remains a question, which could be answered in the coming weeks.