Bundesliga giants RB Leipzig are reportedly unwilling to negotiate and will hold out for the €90 million release clause for Arsenal target Dayot Upamecano.
Sky Germany have claimed that Arsenal have been told to cough up €90 million to land Dayot Upamecano. The Gunners have been looking to add a central defender to their squad to beef up their defence and seem to have set their sights on the RB Leipzig star.
Arsenal have had a first bid worth up to £55m for centre back Dayot Upamecano rejected by RB Leipzig, who want Emile Smith Rowe included in the deal. Talks continuing today. Story on @MailSport soon
— Kieran Gill (@kierangill_DM) August 6, 2019
There were reports that Arsenal had a €60 million bid rejected for Upamecano but are expected to return with an improved bid. The bid is also expected to include Emile Smith Rowe in the deal. However, RB Leipzig want Smith Rowe on a permanent deal instead of a season-long loan.
Arsenal are in dire need of central defenders. Club captain Laurent Koscielny has departed for Bordeaux while Shkodran Mustafi is being linked with an exit as well. Sokratis is the only reliable option for Unai Emery in central defence, with Nacho Monreal also worthy of being contention for a starting spot in central defence, should Arsenal add another left-back to their squad.
The Gunners did sign William Saliba. But, they have loaned Saliba back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 campaign as part of the agreement. At 20, Dayot Upamecano is young but has already shown capability of leading a backline at RB Leipzig, who have taken Bundesliga by storm in the recent years.
Upamecano has been on the radar of Arsenal since his days at Red Bull Salzburg. Joining Leipzig in January 2017, the 20-year-old has since accumulated 75 senior appearances for the club. Upamecano could have added more, if not for the knee injury that curtailed his involvement in the 2018-19 campaign.
Technically sound, agile and defensively assured, Upamecano is the sort of star Unai Emery can rely on to bring more calmness and definition to the backline at Arsenal. But, the deal is proving to be cumbersome. RB Leipzig clearly intend to retain the 20-year-old and have instructed Arsenal to meet the €90 million release clause if they want to get the Frenchman.
Should Arsenal go for the release clause, Upamecano would become the most expensive defender in world football, a tag newly inferred upon Harry Maguire after the Leicester City star sealed his move to Manchester United.
Arsenal have already spent to bring in Dani Ceballos on loan and on permanent deals for Nicolas Pepe, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba. Despite the structured payments, the Gunners have incurred a good chunk of their budget in this window and likely have enough for one more signing.
It will depend on whether Unai Emery is desperate to get Kieran Tierney, who seems to be a priority target for Arsenal for quite a while now. €90 million though, will prove to be too steep and a deal-breaker for Arsenal, something RB Leipzig were intending to achieve anyway.