Real Madrid have reportedly joined Arsenal in the race to sign RB Leipzig and France Under-21 defender Dayot Upamecano in the summer transfer window.
According to a report from Spanish publication AS, La Liga giants Real Madrid are hot in pursuit of French defender Dayot Upamecano. The RB Leipzig centre-half is also a transfer target for Premier League outfit Arsenal.
The 21-year-old Upamecano joined RB Leipzig from sister club RB Salzburg in January 2017 and has grown into an integral member of the team. Till date, the Frenchman has made 104 appearances for Die Rotten Bullen.
Upamecano missed the first four Bundesliga games for Leipzig this term, but hasn’t missed a single match since. Uptil the suspension of football due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 21-year-old has made 21 league appearances in 2019-20, helping his team to the joint-best defensive record in the German top flight.
Naturally, his development over the past couple of seasons at the Red Bull Arena hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the who’s who of European football taking an interest in Upamecano. Arsenal have been one of the clubs, who have been keeping an eye on the Frenchman for a while now.
The Gunners had been linked with a move for the 21-year-old last summer as well as in the January transfer window. However, no move materialised. But, with manager Mikel Arteta in need of defensive reinforcements heading into next season, Upamecano’s name has cropped up again as a potential target for the club.
Arsenal’s defence hasn’t been able to perform consistently once again this season. The likes of Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis haven’t been convincing enough on a consistent basis, while David Luiz is well into his thirties and would need replacing, with the North Londoners looking to bridge the gap to their rivals. To that end, Upamecano would be a viable target.
However, the Gunners will have to stave off competition from La Liga giants Real Madrid. Los Blancos‘ manager Zinedine Zidane is intent on bolstering his defence in the summer with Nacho falling down the pecking order at the Santiag Bernabeu, and heavily linked with a summer exit.
Moreover, last summer’s arrival Eder Militao has already been linked with an exit, with Tottenham Hotspur interested. Should that move happen, the Merengues will be left with at least one vacant spot in the backline, which Zidane intends to fill with compatriot Upamecano.
Upamecano will be entering the final year of his contract with RB Leipzig in the summer, which will put Leipzig under pressure to either cash in on him or tie him down to a new deal, which would be difficult considering the number of big clubs interested in signing him. It now remains to be seen if Real Madrid are able to land the 21-year-old or are beaten to his signing.